Local news translated, August 7

Daily Host Nation Stories – August 7, 2020

Schools to test students prior to reopening

STUTTGART – The question of what will happen in schools and kindergartens after the summer holidays is a matter of concern for many.  During the last week of summer holiday, 1,600 pupils as well as 210 teachers and other employees of the institutions belonging to the Protestant School Foundation Stuttgart will be tested. This is to prevent infected students from coming to class the following week. For the first time since May 7, the Robert Koch Institute registered more than 1,000 new infections within 24 hours on Thursday. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) appealed to citizens to observe the rules of hygiene. “Let’s remain vigilant and follow the rules.” Where the virus has a chance, it spreads, he said. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 7)

Free testing for all entering Germany

As of August 1st, anyone coming into Germany by land, sea, or air from a risk area must submit test results to the health authorities. All travelers must either bring along a current negative test result (no older than 48 hours) or have a test taken in Germany. Spahn also emphasized that the already existing obligation for a 14-day quarantine for travelers from risk areas would continue to exist. However, the quarantine time can be shortened by a negative test result. In practice, according to Spahn, travelers from risk areas will be asked at the airport, for example, whether they have a negative test result. If this is not the case, a test will be ordered, which is to be done immediately. If the test is negative, the individual does not have to quarantine. No one is going to be forced to take the test, but there will be a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, and local authorities can impose fines up to 25,000 euros if the test is refused or quarantine is not observed. Germany is offering tests free of charge up to three days after entry into the country.

The federal government, in cooperation with the Robert Koch Institute, will determine which countries and regions will be classified as “Corona risk areas.” A list can be found on the institute’s website. Travelers, even from non-risk areas, can get tested voluntarily for the corona virus. Spahn said in the event of necessary renewed restrictions, the main focus will be on restricting events and large gatherings but not the closure of shops and businesses. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 7)

How the data works when calculating infection rates

The Corona figures for Germany and the so-called reproduction figure (also known as the R-value) are collected by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin and published daily on its website, as well as the State data from the State Health Office of Baden-Württemberg, publishes the current values from Monday to Friday, even down to district level. This means the number of infections that were reported on a single day or in a week. The daily reported infections fluctuate relatively strongly because, for example, the State Health Office of Baden-Württemberg does not publish new data at the weekend.

That is why averaged values tell a more reliable story than daily figures. For the past week, the average number of infections reported per day is calculated. This figure fell continuously after the peak at the beginning of April but has been rising again since mid-July. Unlike an outbreak in June, however, it is not a single large outbreak – as was the case at the Tönnies meat factory in North Rhine-Westphalia at the time – that is responsible for this, but rather many small outbreaks. The increasing number of registered new infections is also not only due to the number of corona tests. It is increasing continuously, but the proportion of detected infections has also risen recently from 0.6 to 0.8 percent. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 7)

France fears a second Corona wave

PARIS — In France the fear of a second corona wave is increasing. The reason for this is the increasing number of new infections for several days. Brittany in the north-west of the country and the neighboring Département of Mayenne are particularly affected. In response, many regions have significantly tightened their hygiene rules. In the south of the country, Nice and Toulouse have made it mandatory to wear masks in public, for example in pedestrian zones and markets, where it is “hardly possible to keep to distance rules”. The measures were also tightened up in many other major cities such as Lille, Tours, Orléans and Biarritz. In the popular seaside resort of Sables-d’Olonne on the Atlantic, for example, the beach is closed at high tide because otherwise visitors would crowd too much on the narrow section of beach. In Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo has called on the prefect to make it mandatory to wear masks outdoors. She said that it was a question of shopping streets, the banks of the Seine, parks and markets, but also of all places where tourists and locals queue up. At the moment, France has a nationwide rule that mouth and nose covers must be worn in all enclosed public spaces. It is also mandatory in public transport. Anyone who violates the rules is liable to a fine of 135 euros. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, August 6)

Non-Corona related news:

Böblingen avoids a planned evacuation on Sunday

An all-clear has been given at the “Seecarré” construction site at Herrenberger Straße after authorities determined a located anomaly is not a live explosive ordnance. As a result, no defusing and no evacuation is necessary on Sunday, August 9, 2020 as originally feared. The anomaly turned out to be fragments of an aerial World War II bomb which detonated some 75 years ago. When first detected, the large metal splinters could not be distinguished from an unexploded bomb. Further investigation, however, confirmed defusing of the fragments is not necessary. (BB heute.de, August 7)

Tickets available online for Böblingen Marktplatz Sommer events

Due to the numerous inquiries, an office for selling evening tickets will be set up for the events at Böblinger Marktplatz Sommer from August 7. Tickets can now be purchased online, by phone at 07044/4798274, and also on site. When purchasing tickets on site, personal details are required and payment is currently only possible in cash. The office is located at the entrance area of the town hall. The prelude to the marketplace summer in Böblingen is on Friday, August 7 with musical entertainment by “Jazz drummer Wolfgang Haffner & Band” starting at 8 p.m.; entrance is at 6.30 p.m. On Saturday, August 8, (German Folk musicians) Alexandra and Anita Hofmann will perform at Böblingen marketplace at 7.30 p.m. and on Sunday, August 9, will be musical performance by the “Lumberjack Big Band.” Further information about the program and tickets at www.marktplatz-sommer.de. (BB heute.de, August 7)