Daily Host Nation Stories for June 29, 2020
School in Göppingen closed due to coronavirus
A elementary school in Göppingen has been closed until Wednesday because a student tested positive. There were also positive test results at other schools in the district.
In coordination with the public health department, the primary school will therefore remain closed up to and including Wednesday, a spokesperson for the city of Göppingen announced on Friday evening. At the Uhland elementary school, around 250 pupils are taught in twelve classes. This Saturday, students and teachers were to be tested for the coronavirus.
The Uhland School is not the first school that had to close again because of the coronavirus. On Saturday evening, the district of Göppingen announced that a total of five schools each tested positive for Sars-CoV-2. “The public health department contacted the respective schools and quarantined the classmates and teachers of the affected classes,” the communication said. (Swr, June 28)
Gütersloh district far from shutdown relaxation
Immediately prior to the decision to extend the regional lockdown, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the Gütersloh district has remained well above the 50 mark for the past seven days, according to figures published on Monday by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). According to these figures, the downward trend in the so-called seven-day incidence continued after very high values due to the outbreak at the meat processor Tönnies. According to the latest RKI data, there were now 112.6 such cases in the Gütersloh district within the past seven days, following 132.9 on Sunday and 164.2 on Saturday. On Tuesday, this figure had been 270.2. According to the RKI figures, the district of Gütersloh remains the only district in the whole of Germany above the important mark of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within the past seven days. The background is the massive outbreak of the coronavirus at the von Tönnies meat factory in Rheda-Wiedenbrück in the district. (Ntv, June 29)
Greens and SPD demand abolition of giant slaughterhouses
Following the corona outbreaks in slaughterhouses, the Green Party has called for a complete conversion of meat production in Germany. “The big slaughterhouses must be closed down. We have to decentralize that”, said Green Party leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt on Sunday evening in the internet broadcast of the “Bild” newspaper. She added that the issue now was a different policy and different framework conditions in the meat industry. Göring-Eckardt said that the concentration “on very few giant slaughterhouses” was responsible for the fact that “people there were working in poor conditions”. “We have to make sure that meat is slaughtered close to where it is bred.” (Focus, June 29)
Antibody tests at the Stuttgart Airport – Fifteen minutes to find out if you had Corona
Four different corona tests are offered in the medical practice in Terminal 1 of Stuttgart Airport. On the one hand, there is the classic smear test on Sars-CoV-2, as it is also carried out in the corona smear centers. A wooden stick is briefly inserted into the person’s throat. This is then sent to a laboratory, and within one or two days the person receives the result. The same test can also be carried out in a rapid procedure: the sample is then analyzed directly in the practice and after a quarter of an hour, the result is certain.
The test for antibodies works differently: some blood is taken and then examined. Either this is done in a laboratory, in which case people are informed within 48 hours, or you use the rapid test and find out within 15 minutes whether you have already had an infection. “You can think of it like a pregnancy test,” explains doctor Jens Künzel. “After a short time the result appears: positive or negative.”
An antibody test costs about 60 euros, a smear test about 170 euros, and the rapid test is a few euros more expensive. However, more and more people would like to pay for this in order to obtain the test result immediately, says Jens Künzel. In addition, the demand has changed in recent weeks: “Initially, more people wanted to have a smear test, “in the meantime we are carrying out antibody tests more frequently”.
A total of about 1,000 tests have been carried out at the Airport Medical Center since the end of April, about 70 percent of which were tests for antibodies, 30 percent smear tests for a current infection. Jens Künzel cannot say how many of the approximately 1000 tests performed were positive and how many negative. “We did not keep statistics.”
Ever since the first aircraft took off and landed again from Stuttgart Airport, the jousting test has also become more popular again. This is due to the latest regulation of the state of Baden-Württemberg. Up to now, people who enter Baden-Württemberg from a non-EU country – such as Turkey – have had to remain in quarantine for two weeks. This can be avoided if they have a negative corona smear that is no older than two days. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 26)
Party at Sigmaringen district – 200 people celebrate despite Corona ordinances
Meßkirch/Sigmaringen – Despite the conditions imposed to combat the corona virus, about 200 people celebrated in a Club in Meßkirch at the Sigmaringen district. According to police reports on Sunday, neither the guests nor the staff wore a mouth and nose protector. Also, the minimum distance of 1.50 meters had not been observed. Therefore, the disco had been cleared Sunday night and the owners face a fine.
The State Government has issued several corona ordinances since mid-March to get the virus under control. So far, Police in Baden-Wuerttemberg have registered about 29,000 violations of the rules. According to the Ministry of the Interior, officials intervened in about 22,000 cases because too many people met in public. About 2000 times violations such as parties and other illegal private events were reported. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 29)
The rules in Baden Württemberg as of today (as of Monday, June 29):
Contact regulations: In public, groups with members of up to two households or up to ten persons from several households may meet. At private events, up to 20 people from several households may meet – if all persons are related, there is no numerical limit. From 1 July onward, 20 people from several households may meet in public.
Parties and events: Public meetings, congresses, trade fairs and smaller sporting events with up to 100 people will again be possible from 1 July – even with up to 250 people if there are firmly assigned seats and a fixed program. From 1 August, a number of participants of up to 500 people is also permitted. From September 1, trade fairs with more than 500 people will also be allowed to open again. Large events such as public festivals, where hygiene measures are hardly enforceable, will remain prohibited until the end of October.
Hotels, holiday apartments and camping sites will be allowed to reopen.
Demonstrations: Meetings are permitted – with conditions to ensure infection control – for example at intervals or with maximum numbers of participants.
Schools and day-care centers: All pupils are to receive attendance lessons again, at least temporarily. The daycare centres are to reopen fully from 29 June. Up to now, a maximum of 50 percent of the children who normally attend the facility may be looked after there at the same time.
Travel arrangements for people from risk regions: Visitors from an urban or regional district with an increased incidence of infection are prohibited from staying in hotels, guesthouses, pensions, holiday homes, camping sites and caravan parks if the number of new infections in the home district of the person concerned was higher than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants in the seven days prior to arrival. Exceptions apply to persons who can prove with a medical certificate that they are not infected. Exceptions should also be possible if the outbreak of infection in a district can be clearly localized. (Focus, June 29)
Lord Mayor Kuhn thanked Stuttgart police for their commitment to security
Lord Mayor Fritz Kuhn reacted relieved that Stuttgart police reported two peaceful nights in the city center. Mayor Kuhn said on Sunday, June 28: ” This was an act of strength. I would like to thank all officials for their presence and their thoughtful manner in securing the past two nights. The visitors to the City also made their contribution. We intend to return to our peaceful Stuttgart summer nights.”
Kuhn continued: “The police is doing a strong work to protect the entire weekend audience. Our security partnership with the police as well as the relevant participants from the city center will contribute to its success. We’ll find ways to ensure that it’s fun and peaceful on summer nights.”
Late Saturday evening, Mayor Kuhn had met with the Mayor for Security, Order and Sport, Dr. Martin Schairer, to get a picture of the situation in the Upper Schlossgarten and was briefed by the Police Chief of Operations. Social workers were also on site to get an impression of the situation and to talk to the visitors.
Last week in Stuttgart, hundreds of people reacted violently against the security forces following a police check. During the riots, there were attacks on police and rescue workers as well as damage to property and looting. The public prosecutor’s office is investigating for serious breach of the peace and attempted manslaughter. (Press release city of Stuttgart, June 29)
Stuttgart imposes stricter speed limits
Shortly before the decision of the Stuttgart Administrative Court on the suspension of the Euro 5 diesel driving ban applied for by the state, the state adds speed limits.
The state capital is to impose speed limits on the access routes to Prag- and Talstraße. The speed limits should have the effect of “reducing traffic and thus quickly further reducing pollution”, the Ministry of Transportation said on Friday. In future, a maximum speed limit of 60 km/h will be allowed on the B 10 after the Stammheim-Süd junction and on the B 27 after the Zuffenhausen junction and before it merges with the B 10 up to the Friedrichswahl; from the Friedrichswahl to the end of the Prague tunnel, a maximum speed of 40 km/h will be possible in future.
On the B 10 coming from Esslingen behind the junction of the Otto-Konz-Brücke to Poststraße, a maximum speed limit of 60 km/h will also soon apply, and the same will apply on the B 14 coming from Waiblingen behind the Benzstraße junction. In addition, the city is to regulate the influx “intelligently” by switching traffic lights. The state justifies the measures by stating that with “short-term effective efforts” the nitrogen dioxide annual average limit of 40 micrograms per cubic meter of air is also to be adhered to on Prag- und Talstraße.
The Euro 5 diesel driving bans will apply in all inner city districts, Bad Cannstatt, Feuerbach and Zuffenhausen from the moment the signs are posted. The city administration did not give a date for this on request. Production and installation of the signs had been outsourced to an external service provider.(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 29)
CDU party attacks Stuttgart’s Lord Mayor stance on US plans
The mood in Stuttgart’s city hall is getting hotter four months before the mayoral election on November 8. CDU faction leader Alexander Kotz has now massively criticized the incumbent mayor Fritz Kuhn (Greens). Among other things, he was annoyed that the Lord Mayor had not taken a stand on the troop withdrawal plans of US President Donald Trump and had not discussed the possible consequences of these plans. Kotz thinks that the Lord Mayor should have taken a stand and shown what would happen in Stuttgart if the Army were to give up areas in the district of Vaihingen (European Command Center) and in Möhringen (Africa Command). “Please,Mr Kuhn, don’t let the work drag on in the coming months”, Kotz said in the municipal council meeting on Thursday. The administration – and also the municipal council – lacked the “look ahead”, said the CDU faction leader, who himself had ambitions to run for mayor, but whose party then preferred Backnang’s Mayor Frank Nopper.