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Host Nation Update, August 30, 2021
Planning for Stop Light System & more restrictions for the unvaccinated?
According to a report from SWR, a public news broadcaster, B-W plans to institute a stop light system this week to regulate restrictions on non-vaccinated people. At 200 COVID-19 patients in ICUs, the stop light will be amber and initial contact restrictions for unvaccinated persons will apply. At 300 COVID-19 patients in ICUs, the stop light will go to red, and in many areas, such as restaurants, cinemas, and concerts, only vaccinated and recovered people will be authorized access (the so-called “2G-Rule”). The changes are still in staffing. B-W is hoping for a rise in willingness to be vaccinated in September. According to DIVI, there were 115 COVID-19 patients in B-W ICUs on Sunday, Aug 29. (SWR.de, August 30.)
This coincides with further measures unvaccinated people. “If it trickles down to the intensive care units, action must be taken. It would be wrong to then hold everyone jointly liable, including the vaccinated – that’s why there will be different rules for the unvaccinated than for the vaccinated,” according to Baden-Württemberg’s Interior Minister Thomas Strobl.
The state’s Green-led Social Affairs Ministry has proposed contact restrictions for unvaccinated adults and a ban on visits to restaurants and concerts, he said. Uwe Lahl, head of office at Baden-Württemberg’s social ministry, said, “When 200 to 250 intensive care beds are occupied, we will consider imposing initial contact restrictions on unvaccinated adults.” The Bavarian health minister also supports the proposals, however, there is criticism from the SPD and FDP parties. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Aug 30)
Corona pandemic in Baden-Württemberg – Incidence numbers in the southwest continues to rise
Stuttgart – Corona infection incidence in the southwest continues to increase. The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in a week rose to 78.5 on Sunday (as of 4 p.m.), according to the State Health Office in Stuttgart. The previous day, the so-called seven-day incidence had been 76.3. The highest incidence continues to be in the city of Heilbronn with 144.6, followed by the city of Baden-Baden with 125.0 and the district of Tuttlingen with 108.0. The lowest statewide incidence of infection is currently in the district of Emmendingen with an incidence of 37.3. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Aug 30)
Quarantine rule changes
B-W issued changes to their rules for quarantine and isolation that went into effect on Saturday, Aug 28. The changes to B-W’s coronavirus ordinance, CoronaVO Segregation, now requires classmates of schoolchildren who have tested positive to be tested daily for five consecutive schooldays instead of being quarantined at home. Immunized and recovered schoolchildren are not required to be tested. In childcare centers, children under age 8 are required to be tested only once, and immunized and recovered children are exempt from the test requirement. In nursing facilities and hospitals, authorities will order vaccinated and recovered people into quarantine only in individual cases. (Baden Wuerttemberg.de, August 30)
Test sites in Stuttgart – Price war for corona tests expected
Stuttgart – Since the tests will no longer be free of charge as of October 12, test centers are expected to close despite the revived 3-G rule. As recently as March, all rapid testing sites were completely overflowing. Some pharmacies were swabbing up to 70 visitors in a matter of hours, and the number of testing stations was multiplying. That was back in the days when testing was free, many people were still unvaccinated, and even visits to the sidewalk café were only permitted with test results due to high incidence rates. Three months later, the trend reversed: There were more double-vaccinated people, incidences dropped, and the Corona ordinance no longer required 3-G detection when visiting restaurants, cafés, and bars. That June, therefore, the number of testing sites in Stuttgart also began to decline. According to the Stuttgart city health department, 329 opportunities to be tested for corona infection still existed in the city on June 30, 2021. Approximately one-fifth of these were available in pharmacies and medical practices. As of August 2, 2021, there were only 278 testing sites, and people got tested more often in pharmacies.
The tendency to pay for the tests out of one’s own pocket is not estimated to be high. As a result, the number of test sites in particular, for whom this was a viable business but who cannot rely on their original line of business, such as doctors and pharmacists, the number could continue to decline.
André Divanach, the general manager of the Academie der schönen Künste on Charlottenstrasse, which is a café, bistro, restaurant and bar all in one. He has long offered his guests rapid tests, carried out by a company registered with health authorities in an adjoining room. “We’re going to keep that. Whether the guests then have to pay themselves, we’ll see,” he says. It wouldn’t be expensive anyway: “I expect a big price war to develop there.” (Stutgarter Nachichten, Aug 30)