Local news translated – Aug 21, 2023

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, Aug 21, 2023

In Ludwigsburg County – Clinics prepared for new wave of COVID

“Actually, this no longer plays a major role in everyday practice,” sums up David Strodtbeck, a physician from Marbach, Germany, who ran a corona-focused practice during the pandemic. “In recent months, it has been relatively quiet, we have had very few COVID cases here, you could count them on one hand,” he explains. However, like the Ludwigsburg District Office, he expects case numbers to rise again in the fall and winter.  Strodtbeck, however, expects only a “moderate” increase. And District Office spokesman Andreas Fritz points out that in the meantime, the population has built up a good level of protection through immunization, “so that we hope that those who fall ill will not become seriously ill and that hospitalization will only be necessary in individual cases.  However, large or small the wave may ultimately be, RKH Klinik I Bietigheim is well prepared for it. One can fall back on the experiences from the past years, assures press spokesman Alexander Tsongas. “Depending on how the situation develops, which of course we cannot foresee at this point in time, appropriate measures will then be taken, up to and including visitor restrictions,” he explains.  A year ago, it became clear that the problem was not COVID, “but the parallel occurrence of the serious RS virus and influenza. Depending on how severely the individual pathogens strike in total, the hospitals are burdened. It should not be forgotten that in the cold season more patients tend to be treated as inpatients for other illnesses, especially after infections or accidents caused by black ice. In addition, a comparatively large number of employees are also ill in winter, which means that the absenteeism rate is higher than usual.

However, Tsongas also makes it clear that there is currently no increased cause for concern in regards to COVID. In recent months, the medical team has not had to care for a single patient with a severe course of the disease. As of last week, there were only two people with a positive test in hospital, both in Ludwigsburg and both with COVID, but not because of it.  When someone is admitted as an inpatient, he said, they are still checked to see if they are carrying the virus. As with many respiratory pathogens, however, an increase in cases of illness is to be expected in the cooler autumn-winter season. “Covid-19 will be no exception,” Special preparations have not been made regarding a new wave of infections in the practice, however. “We will spontaneously see how the situation looks from day to day,” explains Strodtbeck.  The specialist from Schiller City will also refrain from launching another vaccination campaign. “The demand for a booster will be relatively low, so far we have received hardly any requests from patients,” he reports.  The county is also not planning any special immunization campaigns.  The Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko) recommends that all persons 18 years of age and older with COVID have a baseline immunity consisting of three antigen contacts, i.e., vaccinations or infections. This should include at least two doses of vaccine. In addition, according to the Ludwigsburg District Office, the Stiko recommends, among others, further booster vaccinations for persons over 60 years of age, residents of nursing homes and staff in medical facilities. (Stgt Nachrichten, Aug 18)

VfB Stuttgart (Local soccer team) When VfB was last top of the rankings

Thanks to a 5-0 home win against VfL Bochum, VfB is in first place after the first matchday of the new Bundesliga (federal soccer league) season. Here’s an overview of how things went at the top recently.  A home win, zero goals (received) and five goals scored. The season opener could hardly have gone better for VfB Stuttgart. There has never been a higher victory than the 5-0 against VfL Bochum in the club history of VfB at the start of the Bundesliga season.  (Stgt Nachrichten, Aug 21)

Start of the festival in Bietigheim-Bissingen – Bietigheim horse market

Soon, the extraordinary festival mixture of sports, beer tent, music and carnival will begin again at the Bietigheim Viaduct. The 87th Bietigheim Horse Market starts on Friday, September 1, with horse shows, awards and the riding and jumping tournament of the Bietigheim-Bissingen Riding Club. “The tournament has great importance, because you can qualify for big indoor championships like the one in the Schleyerhalle,” says city spokeswoman Annette Hochmuth.  On the festival grounds at the viaduct, the Göckelesmaier company operates its marquee with music, beer and half chickens. In addition, stalls and rides will again be found at the Krämermarkt. Another attraction during the festival days is only a few minutes’ walk from the Krämermarkt: the “Home & Garden” exhibition in the parking lots of the high schools. The highlight of the festival this year is once again the traditional procession through the historic old town on Monday afternoon, September 4. (Stgt Nachrichten, Aug 21)

Weather – When it will get cooler again

This year, summer can only be zero or one – either you’re about to take your wool sweaters out of the closet prematurely or everyone is groaning under a blanket of heat. But meteorologists from the German Weather Service (DWD) are already predicting the end of the heat.  At the start of the new week, the German Weather Service continues to expect muggy and hot weather in Germany. “Especially over the center and the south, the temperature will rise above 30 degrees,” says DWD meteorologist Jacqueline Kernn. “Together with the high humidity, this results in a strong heat load.” Meanwhile, an area of high pressure is ensuring largely calm summer weather, she added.  In the north, highs of 23 to 29 degrees are expected on Monday, while in the southern half of Germany, temperatures of 30 to 35 degrees maximum are in store. In the south and southeast, there is a slight risk of heat thunderstorms in the mountains.  On Tuesday, it will continue sunny in the south with highs between 31 and 35 degrees. In northern Germany, the DWD expects milder 21 to 26 degrees, while in the center of the country it should be 26 to 32 degrees. There and in the north it is expected to be clear to cloudy.

For Wednesday, meteorologists expect a maximum of 24 to 29 degrees in the north and center of Germany – and 30 to 34 degrees in the south. In the north, individual weak showers are possible, over low mountain ranges there is a slight risk of thunderstorms. (Stgt Nachrichten, Aug 21)