Monic: how does the government tool that tracks new Covid-19 clusters work?

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“There are between 400 and 500 active clusters in France (…) We are very far from epidemic wave but we are nevertheless seeing a dynamic of the virus circulation which worries us and which must worry the French “. This is what the Minister of Health Olivier Véran declared on July 20 on Franceinfo.

If he was able to obtain this data, it is notably thanks to a very specific tool: Monic. This code name means MONItorage (or monitoring) of the Clusters (or sources of contamination). Designed by Public Health France, this information system is used to identify active clusters in France in order to break the chains of contamination, reveals The Parisian. . But how does it work?

Identify active Covid-19 clusters

Launched on May 9, 2020, Monic relies on data provided by healthcare professionals. These are then processed by public health officials in France and collected in this IT tool.

Result? The places of contamination, the dates, the number of people infected as well as the “contact persons”, in other words the individuals who have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19 and who has been identified, are thus listed. . So much information which makes it possible in particular to give a status to sources of contamination: “under investigation”, “under control”, “closed” or “community dissemination”.

Covid-19: three levels of tracing

To get there, the first reports are made by treating physicians: when one of their patients is affected by Covid-19, they trace their contacts in the family circle and transmit this data to the Health Insurance. This is level 1 for tracing patients. Level 2 is managed by the Health Insurance, which widens this circle and lists “contact persons” beyond the family.

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Level 3 is triggered if a significant transmission chain risk is identified. It is managed by Public Health France, Health Insurance and Regional Health Agencies (ARS). The goal? Widen the circle of “contact persons” as much as possible and offer them screening.

Monic, a “working tool”

What about confidentiality? Every week, Public Health France publishes a map of active clusters based on information provided by Monic. The data made public remains partial, however, for privacy issues. Thus, the coordinates of infected persons and “contact persons”, as well as the precise location of the clusters are not disclosed.

The objective is also to avoid “Perverse effects, such as panic movements, which do not need to be. It could also have the effect of lowering the guard of people who find that a cluster is identified, but distant at the other end of his department “, explains to Parisian Patrick Rolland, interregional coordinator at Public Health France. Monic is above all a “work tool”, he concludes.

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