THE vast majority of COVID-19 outbreaks in the Costa Blanca and Valencia area since last June have been down to private gatherings of families and friends.

There is little to suggest that bars and restaurants have been a significant driving force in outbreaks during that time.

Figures compiled by the regional health ministry show that since the first State of Alarm period ended last summer, contagions within the social sphere are at 66.7% and mainly within homes.

It largely confirms a key factor for the massive rise in December and January infections which were caused by socialising over the festive period.

The review of the statistics suggests that a ‘socially-originated’ outbreak tends to be below ten cases and amongst middle-aged people.

The total outbreak figure is 7,523 since late June, with 12.1% within educational centres and 11% at the workplace.

Analysis of outbreaks since March 3, puts social sphere origination up to 73.6%, but most of the outbreaks appear to have a lower case count compared to earlier in the pandemic.

The figures also tend to add greater strength to the arguments from the hospitality sector, that home socialising is one of the biggest drivers of new COVID-19 cases as opposed to people drinking or dining in a socially-distanced environment.

No specific breakdown over hospitality was available but a previous report on Valencia region outbreaks up to late November showed that just under 3% of outbreaks were traced back to bars and restaurants.

Age breakdowns reveal that the greatest number of outbreaks come within the 35 to 64 years age group at 42%, with 25% in the 15 to 34 year bracket.

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