Unless there is a significant and unexpected drop in cases in the coming days, because of the level of 264 new COVID-19 contagions per 100,000 inhabitants reached on April 1 (14 more than the cutoff of 250 per 100,000), Tuscany will remain as a”red zone” through April 19. The Italian government has also published the details of a post-Easter decree in effect through April 29.
Under the new national ordinance, all of Italy’s regions will be classified either “red” or “orange” with consequent limitations, during that period. The “yellow” and “white” zones will be momentarily suppressed. All doctors and pharmacists must be vaccinated, and if failing to do so, will be temporarily suspended from their profession until December 31, 2021. Nor can doctors be sued if an adverse reaction happens in the wake of a vaccination given to a patient.
Students up to the sixth grade (prima media) may return to school after Easter, even in “red zones” and governors will no longer to able to modify this decision regionally. In “orange zones” students may attend classes up to the eighth grade (terza media), while 50% of high school students can do so at any given time.
Until April 30, visits at home by friends and relatives are prohibited in “red zones,” while still allowed once a day for a maximum of two people (not counting kids 14 and under plus the disabled) between 5 am and 10 pm in “orange” zones.
To see general “red zone” regulations, click here.
At the beginning of April, the situation is close to critical in Tuscan hospitals regarding the availability of beds in COVID wards or in intensive care. At Ponte a Niccheri, the 80 beds for COVID patients are all occupied — the number of beds will be increased given that another 15 patients are temporarily on stretchers in a special zone. At Torregalli, another 45 beds for COVID patients have been added in surgical wards, but patients who arrive on stretchers still have to wait between 24 and 48 hours before accessing these areas. At Santa Maria Nuova, patients diagnosed with Coronavirus have to wait 24 hours on stretchers before being admitted to the COVID ward, while patients with other illnesses need to wait on 24 – 48 hours before finding a bed.
New Coronavirus cases in Tuscany hit a high of 1,631 on April 1, the worst statistic since November 2020, which is primarily due to the third wave of infections spread by the extremely contagious “English variant.” On the same date, close to 700,000 residents out of a regional population of 3.7 million people had received their first dose of the vaccine, nearly 200,00 both vaccinations.
To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site. (rosanna cirigliano)