The fall in the number of infections is consolidated in more than half of the large Spanish cities

Source: Autonomous Communities

Information updated with the latest available data as of 10 August.

The drop in infections after the fifth wave is consolidated in Spain. More than half of the large cities (100 out of 175) have reduced their incidence and in another 36 the evolution of cases remains stable. Although the decline in positives is following different speeds between the north and center-south of the country, virtually all communities have seen a fall in transmission in recent weeks. Catalonia, Asturias and Aragon recorded the largest declines, while cases are still increasing in parts of Andalusia, Murcia and Castilla-La Mancha.

It is worth highlighting the case of Catalonia: in the community where the explosion of infections began at the gates of summer, 94% of its population already lives in municipalities where cases are falling. And 4 of the 5 major cities that have reduced their incidence by less than half in the last two weeks are Catalan, along with Burgos, which currently leads the ranking of greatest decline in transmission: -58% in 14 days.

The ranking of cities with the highest incidence rates is headed by some tourist cities, such as Ibiza, Calvià or Menacor, in the Balearic archipelago, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary archipelago, or El Puerto de Santamaría and Malaga capital in Andalusia. The one in the worst situation is Ibiza, which is close to 2,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days.

Also noteworthy are some places where infections have skyrocketed as Albacete, where they have increased by 146% in just 14 days. Talavera de la Reina (Toledo) recorded one of the worst increases in the same period: 148% (cases have multiplied by 2.5), and also in Linares (Jaen) infections have doubled in the last two weeks. These are some of the results extracted from the analysis carried out by from the data of the Departments of Health of the 17 autonomous communities and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla. You can read more details about how these data were obtained in the methodology.

At a global level, the confirmed casesThe COVID-19 values are decreasing in 1,639 municipalities where 58% of the Spanish population lives. They are still rising in 1,078 localities where 23% of the population lives (36 points less than last week) and are in a plateau phase (they remain more or less the same as two weeks ago) in 260, where 14% live. The rest are very small municipalities where very few cases are recorded -less than 5 every two weeks- or for which there is no information available -representing less than 5% of the Spanish population-.

The following graph shows the ranking of large municipalities (with more than 40,000 inhabitants) according to the number of confirmed cases in the last 14 days in relation to their population and also how the incidence has varied in the last two weeks compared to the previous two.

Heterogeneous data and absence of small municipalities

The map that opens this information shows the data of total confirmed cases of COVID-19, in 14 days and the trend of infections in each municipality of the autonomous communities that have published their infection data in each locality: practically all the territory with the exception of the smallest municipalities of Castilla y León, Catalonia and Galicia, which do not break down the figures of the municipalities with fewer inhabitants.

The data for each municipality show the same variable: the number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus and for whom their place of residence has been identified. Most of the communities include the data of positives by PCR test, antigen test and some also add the cases confirmed by rapid antibody test. This medium, which has been collecting data by municipality since the end of March 2020, calculates the trend of cases in each municipality by comparing the number of confirmed cases in the last two weeks with the infections detected in the previous two weeks.

It should be taken into account that the data from the communities are not always homogeneous among themselves due to the type of tests included, the dates on which they update their figures or changes in the publication of the data in the same month. The update date of each community depends on each one of them: most of them keep their figures updated weekly but some of them are late when it comes to refreshing their figures.

In total, the figures compiled add up to 3 million cases of coronavirus in which the municipality of residence of the infected person has been identified. Of the 17 autonomous regions analysed, Madrid is the city with the most cases detected in a single municipality. However, the municipalities with the highest incidence rate (cases per 100,000 inhabitants) are small towns in which an outbreak can affect a larger proportion of the population.

Many municipalities do not appear because data are not available and some communities do not publish the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the epidemic. It should be borne in mind that the number of cases is closely related to the ability of health authorities to detect them. That is, the more tests or analyses carried out, the more cases detected. How many confirmed cases are there in each municipality and what is the current incidence in your town? Check it in the following table.

Several communities initially refused to publish data by municipality to avoid the social stigmatization of small municipalities with many infected people. This is the case of the autonomous government of La Rioja, which initially was not going to publish data by localities and now publishes them for all municipalities.

The Balearic Islands refused at first to share their data, although in the end they have published them. Extremadura, under the same criteria, initially only published 8 of the most populated municipalities in the region. Now it publishes the figures even by local entities, villages and hamlets. Castilla y León is only publishing its figures for municipalities with more than 1,000 inhabitants and La Rioja does not now publish the localities with fewer residents. These are not the only cases, almost half of the regions refused to publish their figures arguing that they wanted to avoid stigmatizing specific municipalities. Today, all of them publish their data on COVID-19 cases by municipality.

Galicia has been the last to publish figures by municipality, having added almost 6 months since the start of the epidemic to its COVID-19 data portal. The Galician community does not publish the figures for municipalities that have registered between one and nine cases in the last 14 days. Now all the autonomous regions publish the figures broken down by locality in their transparency portals, open data websites or official pages with the COVID-19 situation.

Precisely, these data are essential to combat an epidemic: they allow to detect outbreaks of infection and act accordingly, provide more information to local governments and regional governments of neighboring communities and facilitate the analysis of the impact of the epidemic.

This analysis makes it possible to check in which areas there is a higher incidence rate according to variables such as average income, percentage of the population over 65 or population density. Precisely, all administrations publish hundreds of statistics broken down by municipality: population by age, country of birth, nationality, average income, registered unemployment data, level of education or mortality rates.

Countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom or the United States publish their data on confirmed cases at the district, local authority and county level, an administrative level similar to the municipality in Spain.

For this information, data on confirmed cases by place of residence have been compiled for more than 5,200 municipalities in the 17 communities that publish their confirmed Covid-19 cases in each locality. The figures are updated with the latest data available in each autonomous community.

The data come from the compilation of figures that each autonomous region publishes on its transparency portals, open data repositories, official Covid-19 pages or official websites. A work that this medium has been doing since late March. In many cases, the communities do not publish their figures in open formats and this medium has had to extract them from each portal. In the case of Galicia, we have used the data compiled by Daniel González-Peña, researcher and computer engineer, in this repository.

To date, the municipalities of all the communities are included except for those with less than 1,000 inhabitants in Castilla y León, those with less than 500 inhabitants in Castilla-La Mancha, those with less than 200 inhabitants in Catalonia and municipalities with few cases in Galicia. Some communities only include cases confirmed in recent weeks and do not publish their cumulative data since the beginning of the epidemic.

The data for each municipality show the same variable: the number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus and their place of residence has been identified. For some communities the data includes the number of positives by PCR test, antigen test and some include those confirmed by rapid antibody test in the first wave. Madrid, Baleares, La Rioja, Navarra, Extremadura, Castilla y León, Murcia and Comunitat Valenciana only publish data from PCR/Ag+ tests.

It must be taken into account that the data from the communities are not always homogeneous due to the type of tests included, the dates on which they update their figures or register their cases, or due to changes in the publication of the data in the same month.

For virtually alls municipalities, the incidence of confirmed cases in 14 days according to the latest available data is compared with that recorded two weeks ago.

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