Daily Host Nation Stories – August 21, 2020
Europa Park reports first known COVID-19 case
On Monday, August 10, a person suffering from Covid-19 and probably contagious stayed at Europa-Park in Rust. It is the first known case of corona there since the park reopened. However, the public health department estimates the risk of infection for others to be low. The individual is known to have eaten at the restaurant “Bamboe Baai” in the Holland theme area, but all the hygiene regulations for restaurants were observed. All persons who purchased a Europa-Park ticket for August 10 online were notified by e-mail from Europa-Park and asked to watch out for possible symptoms and, if necessary, seek medical advice. According to the public health department, the risk of infection for guests and employees of Europa-Park on this day is low. “Europa-Park has coordinated its hygiene concept with the public health department. In addition, it can be assumed that most of the guests did not come into contact with each other at all,” according to the Health Department Director. (Baden On-line, August 21)
Covid-19 case impacts local sports group
One of the sports counselors responsible for about 40 children and young people from the local sport group TSG Backnang in the Rems-Murr-Distrcit tested positive for Corona. Those possibly affected by contact with this individual have been asked to quarantine at home for two weeks, just to be on the safe side. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 20)
Living with the coronavirus as summer ends
Travel returnees, parties, family celebrations–the coronavirus currently has many opportunities to spread and the numbers of infections is rising. In Germany, the Robert Koch Institute reported new infections on Thursday 1,707, compared to 1,510 the day before.
Whether people are outdoors or indoors plays a role in the spread of the virus. As the season changes and colder temperatures return, the situation might become even more complicated as more people stay indoors for longer periods of time. Aerosols, i.e. the smallest suspended particles with infectious viruses, play a particular role in how this virus spreads and when life begins to take place mainly indoors it will be even easier for the virus to spread from an infected person to a healthy one.
What is it about aerosols?
The Robert Koch Institute points out that “prolonged stay in small, poorly or unventilated rooms can increase the probability of transmission by aerosols (the fine droplets that are excreted when we breathe) even over a distance greater than two meters, and because they are so small – less than five thousandths of a millimeter – they do not sink to the ground quickly like droplets, but can float in the air for hours. The danger is all the greater the more particles an infected person emits – which is probably true of so-called super-broadcasters.
What could be done about it?
People returning from risk areas must be tested or quarantined. In addition, restrictions on celebrations and gatherings are under discussion. If fewer people take part in a private family celebration, for example, then fewer people can become infected. Therefore, to detect sources of infection as early as possible and prevent further spread by isolating those affected.(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 21)
What role will the common flu play this year?
This winter there is a great danger that the usual wave of influenza will coincide with rising corona numbers. This would place an enormous burden on hospitals – and could push up death rates again. However, the hygiene measures that are already in place–good air circulation, social distancing, hand washing, use of respiratory protection, and avoiding large crowds–will also help against influenza inflection. Experts are recommending, however, to get vaccinated against the flu.
Non-Corona related news:
Stuttgart hosts a “Mini Volksfest” on Könistrasse
Colorful folk festival booths called “La Bamba” and “Café de Paris” were set up in the Stuttgart city center this week with permission to stay until 2 October. The booth owners are extremely happy to finally work again. However, some are disappointed that no rides are authorized. Authorities are regulating extra space between the booths, so even through the Königstrasse in Stuttgart is large, with trees and seating, fewer booths can fit. In addition, the weekly market is currently taking place on Könistrasse, as well due to the reconstruction of the market square. An extension after October is possible, but will only be considered in the second half of September, after the end of the summer holidays. Since the Corona situation “is currently developing very dynamically,” no decision could be made at this point in time on the duration of the mini folk festival. A decision on the Christmas market will also be made after the summer break. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 21)
Böblingen construction site at Elbenplatz causes great annoyance
The chaotic traffic situation due to the many construction sites and the deconstruction of roads in favor of cycle paths is the talk of the town and causes annoyance among many citizens. (BB heute.de, August 21)
Demolition of the Böblingen City Center Mall is progressing
Two mighty demolition excavators incessantly make their way over the Böblinger City-Center, nibbling mercilessly bit by bit further into the interior of the former shopping mall. For a little over a month now, the demolition has been going like clockwork, and around a third of the 40-year-old building has already disappeared. What emerges is an unusual side view that shows the full size of the City Center with all its floors. It also shows escalators waiting to be torn out of the complex by an excavator, shop signs hanging dusty on the walls between rubble and scrap. (BB heute.de)