Local news translated – Monday, Apr 26, 2021

Germany is currently under strict lockdown restrictions, which include curfews.
Click here for details on how the Baden-Württemberg ordinance affects the USAG Stuttgart community.

Daily Host Nation Update, Apr 26, 2021

Coronavirus in Baden-Württemberg – Corona incidence rises to 190.5
In Baden-Württemberg, 2968 Corona new infections were reported on Saturday. This is according to the daily report of the State Health Office. This brought the number of confirmed infections since the start of the pandemic to 427,910. The so-called seven-day incidence, i.e. new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week, rose slightly to 190.5, 20 points higher than last Saturday’s 170.5. Only two counties fell below the threshold of 100.

Meanwhile, 9211 people have died from or related to coronavirus infection, according to the report. An estimated 372,319 infected people are considered recovered (up 2825).  575 Covid 19 cases are currently being treated in intensive care units, 348 of whom are receiving invasive ventilation, according to the data.

Only 10.9 percent of the 2441 operable ICU beds are currently vacant, according to the release. This figure is important for assessing the utilization of the healthcare system. Such beds are also needed not only for Covid 19 patients with severe courses, but as well as for other serious cases. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 26)

Highest increase in new infections this year
In the past seven days, states reported a total of 145,720 new coronavirus cases. This is the strongest weekly increase this year, the highest value since the end of December (week 52/2020: 149,798 cases) and the fourth highest in the course of the pandemic. Last week, the increase had been 142,022. The number of newly reported deaths increased by 1662 in the current week. Thus, the value continues to rise: In the previous week to April 18, 2021, 1542 more coronavirus-related deaths had been recorded. At the same time, the current weekly increase represents the highest value since the beginning of March (week 9/2021: 1860 deaths) (Ntv, April 25)

One in two people do not know where their own vaccination certificate is
According to a survey, half of all Germans do not know where their vaccination card is. In a survey published by the digital association Bitkom, only 48 percent could immediately say where they keep the yellow booklet. 51 percent of respondents did not know. According to the survey, 23 percent, or just under a quarter of Germans, have already lost their vaccination card. The Association of the German High-Tech and Telecommunications Industry evaluated the results of the survey it commissioned as an argument for the introduction of a digital vaccination certificate in the fight against corona.(Ntv, April 26)

Despite corona lockdowns in the Southwest – Long lines in sunny weather
Stuttgart. The summery weather has again attracted many people outdoors throughout Baden-Württemberg with people mostly sticking to the Corona rules. “Everything is in the green zone, there are at most isolated violations,” a police spokesman announced on Sunday. “People are enjoying the sun, going for a walk or riding their bikes.”  There were a few incidents during the night. In Tübingen, a group gathered on Saturday night and did not follow the rules. Officers then controlled the group. A 40-year-old started filming the operation and did not want to show his ID. He shouted loudly and insulted the police officers. The man now faces criminal charges. 

In the Esslingen district, four young adults met at a skate park late on Saturday evening and drank alcohol. A resident complained to the police about the noise. The officers controlled the group and handed out expulsions, but two 20-year-olds refused to comply. They started insulting the police officers and threatened to hit them. One of them threw a glass bottle in the direction of a police officer and hit him in the leg, the officer was slightly injured. The group was detained temporarily. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 26)

Discussion at tonight’s “vaccination” summit – More freedom for vaccinated individuals
Berlin. In tonight’s Federal and State summit in regards to vaccination, the Federal Ministry of Justice is proposing relaxations from Corona requirements for individuals who have either received both vaccinations against Covid-19 or have recovered from the disease.  This could ease restrictions at nursery homes in regards to visits. In addition, vaccinated and recovered individuals will no longer have to remain in quarantine when returning from a trip abroad – unless they were in a virus variant area such as Brazil, India or South Africa. Further, under the ministry’s proposal, the vaccinated and convalescent will be treated the same as people who have a recent PCR or rapid test showing they do not have corona infection when shopping or getting a haircut. It still needs to be determined, when these relaxations will take effect. 

“If it is sufficiently proven that certain groups of persons (meaning vaccinated and recovered persons) are not (any longer) infectious to others, they should be receive some relief in regards to Corona regulations.  There must be some sort of relief for them in regards to Corona restrictions: “It is not a matter of granting special rights or privileges, but restoring of fundamental rights back to these individuals.” 

However, those who have been vaccinated, recovered and tested should generally continue to wear masks and comply with the distance rules.  Currently, according to the Robert Koch Institute, just under six million citizens have been vaccinated twice against Covid-19; less than ten percent of all adults. Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) stresses that the debate about exemptions for vaccinated people or those recovered has the potential to lead to a social divide. Therefore, he said, this issue must be discussed broadly in society. The latest amendment to the Infection Protection Act has given the federal government the right to make special provisions in an ordinance for people who can no longer transmit the coronavirus. This ordinance must be approved by the Bundestag and Bundesrat.    In the view of Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), there must be a binding opening plan from the lockdown in May: “We need a roadmap back to normal life – but one that is not revoked after a few days.  

CSU leader Markus Söder called for all vaccines against Covid-19 to be released to everyone over the age of 16 as soon as vaccination dates had been worked through. However, Spahn had still explicitly pointed out on Friday that the vaccination prioritization could probably only be lifted in the course of June. And, even in that case, that doesn’t mean “we can give everyone an appointment right away within a week.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 26)

Outdoor pools during the corona pandemic
There is still no opening in sight for the outdoor pools in the southwest. But preparations for this are already underway.  An opening needs eight weeks’ notice to clean the pools, maintain the sunbathing areas, check the technology and flush the pipes to prevent legionella. During that time, the health department, among others, will test the water quality. 

What about the risk of infection in the outdoor pools? Aerosol researchers see a very low risk outdoors. And we are also not aware of any infections in outdoor pools from practical experience last year. Last year, pool operators also made sure of that with new concepts and online ticket sale. However, If outdoor pools remain closed throughout the summer, there will be dire consequences, as people will seek cooling off in bathing lakes, as they did last year, where any hygiene concepts are lacking. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, April 24)

Non Corona local News

Unknown man harasses 13-year-old girl
An unknown man sexually harassed a 13-year-old girl in the Königsbau Passagen shopping center in Stuttgart. The girl was walking through the arcade with a friend on Friday evening at around 6:30 p.m. and was indecently touched by the unknown man. The unknown man is said to be 18 to 19 years old and 1.80 meters tall. He had a slim figure, a southern appearance and dark brown short hair. He was dressed in a dark blue sports jacket, black denim pants and black Nike sneakers. The police are looking for witnesses. They are asked to contact the criminal investigation department at 0711/89905778.(Canstatter Zeitung, April 24)

Sun for Stuttgart’s soul
The permanent lockdown is hitting some people’s minds these days – but at least the summery weather should lift their spirits a little. This week in Stuttgart temperatures around 20 degrees are expected, an expert of the German weather service (DWD) said on Monday. Already on the weekend, the summery weather in the capital of Baden-Württemberg had attracted many people outside.

But from Thursday, the weather will again throw a spanner in the works. Rain is expected to start as early as at night, and showers and temperatures of 13 to 15 degrees can be expected throughout the day. From Friday, a new weather situation will set in – a mix of sun, clouds and showers with temperatures around 15 degrees. According to the DWD experts, this weather pattern will continue until the weekend. Sooner or later, however, the spring weather can no longer be stopped.(Canstatter Zeitung, April 26)