Local news translated – Friday, Feb 19, 2021

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

Daily Host Nation Update, Feb 19, 2021

Corona pandemic data – 7-day incidence in Germany still not decreasing
For a few days, the 7-day incidence rate across Germany had been stagnating. The value has now leveled off at just under 60 per 100’000. In Baden-Württemberg, the value is continuing to fall, contrary to the national trend – albeit only slowly. Currently, the value in the southwest is the lowest in Germany – at 41. Currently, it is unclear how quickly the virus mutations are developing, causing the federal and state governments to decide at the last conference to extend the lockdown until March 7. Hairdressers, among others, are an exception: they will be allowed to reopen as of March 1. . (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 19)

Relaxation of the lockdown planned – For retailers in Stuttgart and the region, the prospect is “existentially important”
BW- Minister President Kretschmann’s announcement to end the lockdown for retailers, should the incidence value stabilise below 35, has generated some relief.  Moreover, all representatives of the industry agree on another point: the retail sector has the ability to protect the public against infection. “One is well prepared for an opening with clever hygiene concepts. No one has to worry about catching an infection in the store. On the contrary: the opening of the specialized trade will lead to less crowding and relief for the discounters,” says Martin Windmüller of the IHK trade committee. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 18)

Corona rapid tests in Stuttgart – Mobile teams test at daycare centers and schools
Starting next Monday, staff at elementary schools, daycare centers, and special education and counseling centers in Stuttgart can be tested twice a week for corona infection. The so-called PoC test, a rapid antigen test can be completed by teachers who are present at secondary schools, teaching graduating classes or providing emergency care. The tests will be available starting Feb. 22 and will initially be limited until the Easter vacations. 

For Stuttgart, the availability of the rapid tests means that approximately 11,400 people will have to be tested twice a week. “This means that about 137,000 tests will be needed within six weeks,” says Stefan Ehehalt, the head of the health department. “So: keep your distance, wear a mask, limit contacts, ventilate regularly.”  In principle, the tests are to be made, as also suggested by the country, with family doctors, in pharmacies, and at the test center Cannstatter Wasen. However, the city is making it easier for education and care workers to access the tests. “Mobile test teams will be deployed across all districts in approximately 184 daycare centers and schools,” the press office informs. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 18)

Children gaining weight at a worrying rate during the lockdown
During the Lockdown, many parents and children are suffering,” says Andreas Oberle, medical director of social pediatrics at Stuttgart Hospital’s Olgahospital. “I see that the physical distance very clearly also causes a social distance. The children are currently no longer learning from each other. Instead of going to sports, exercising, meeting friends, many children sit at home and change their behavior – they eat more, and media consumption increases.”

For at-risk families, the pandemic could have significant consequences. However, dieting or fasting, which begins now, after Mardi Gras, for many, is not an appropriate program for children. This is shown by an example from the health department’s counseling center. According to a questionnaire, teenagers stating that they spends more than five hours a day watching TV, using smartphones and computers, and even longer on weekends. They have hardly any exercise except for the way to school. By August 2020, lockdown and homeschooling, the teens have fallen back into old behavior patterns: Eating out of boredom, higher media consumption with uncontrolled eating on the side, no more walking to school, no other exercise. Weight has increased, again.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 17)NOTE:

For additional host nation news, please visit the below English language websites:
https://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/germany/s-1432
https://www.welt.de/english-news/