Host Nation Update, Feb. 23, 2022
New COVID rules – this applies as of today in Baden-Württemberg
Stuttgart – In Baden-Württemberg, new Corona Ordinance’s apply from today. The state is now at “warning level.” The warning level begins when the hospitalization incidence is triggered when the hospilization incidence is greater than 4 or 250 or more COVID patients are being treated in intensive care units. On Tuesday, the hospitalization incidence was 7.7, and 288 people were treated in intensive care units.
While the country remains with the tier model, there are now only basic, warning and an alert level. Alert level 2 is no longer applicable. It had provided restrictions for which there is no longer a legal basis as of February 24. In the warning level, the 3G regulation applies in most areas, said Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (Greens). For example, in retail, in the catering industry, at events, in the cultural sector or at trade fairs. Those who want to visit a restaurant are not subject to any restrictions except for the mask requirement.
The local curfew restrictions provided for in the previous Corona Ordinance no longer apply.Clubs and discotheques are allowed to reopen. However, only guests who have been vaccinated or have recovered and can show a negative test on the day of the event are allowed to enter (3G)
In enclosed public spaces and public transport such as buses and trains, people over 18 years must wear FFP2 masks. If the distance requirement cannot be permanently maintained outdoors, medical masks are mandatory outside.
Indoor venues may be filled to 60 percent capacity at the warning level, with an upper limit of 6,000 people. Outdoor events are allowed up to 75 percent capacity, with a maximum of 25,000 visitors. If the state were to enter the basic level, access restrictions would no longer apply. Mandatory testing will be extended at schools and daycare centers until the Easter vacations. It is likely that the mask requirement in schools will cease after the Easter vacations. “I don’t see any relaxation of the mask requirement before Easter,” so Kretschmann. The federal legal basis for the Corona requirements expires March 20. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 23)
Böblingen district – determination of COVID antibodies
Böblingen district – Holzgerlingen pharmacist Björn Schittenhelm is right at the forefront. His latest project is to investigate the immune defenses An indication of this is provided by the number of antibodies against the coronavirus that the organism has built up. 4000 residents can now have these determined in the county’s five testing and vaccination centers (TIZ), starting immediately. Free of charge.
This model project, which is unique in Germany, is made possible by Björn Schittenhelm’s cooperation with the Berlin-based startup company Doctorbox, which has developed an antibody test that is also available for purchase in pharmacies. The difference to the conventional tests, which are available from general practitioners for a fee: The necessary test material is not obtained by drawing blood, but by a scribe into the fingertip – similar to blood sugar detection. 4000 such tests, which normally cost 40 to 50 euros, have now been made available to Schittenhelm and his colleagues by Doctorbox.
According to Björn Schittenhelm, an antibody test can provide a remedy and shed light on the course of infection. “We could especially find out people with antibody levels that are too low,” he says. These could then be informed that they should think about vaccination or a booster. ” Around 200 tests per day can be performed in total at the five test centers. The offer is aimed primarily at all those who want to know whether the time has come for a booster vaccination; convalescents can find out how high their virus resistance still is. The testers point out that an absolute statement on immunity cannot be given with this. This is because other factors, such as T cells and so-called memory cells, are also responsible for protection against Corona. The antibody tests can be booked online via the websites of the test centers. An overview is available on the homepage of the district office at www.lrabb.de/start/Aktuelles/testzentren.html. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 23)
NON-COVID related news
Tensions between Ukraine and Russia- What the conflict means for Baden-Württemberg
Stuttgart – The escalation in the Russia-Ukraine conflict has also led to concerns in the southwest about an escalation of the situation. The immediate economic consequences of a possible war, on the other hand, are likely to be minor for Baden-Württemberg.
POLITICS: Despite the escalation in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Minister President Winfried Kretschmann hopes for a peaceful solution. “Like all people, I view the developments with great concern,” the Green politician said Tuesday in Stuttgart. He said he hoped it would be possible to prevent war after all. He said the policies of the German government and the European Union had his full support.
CDU economic politician Christian von Stetten criticized the actions of the government. “Unfortunately, the German government fell for Putin’s feint and the announced partial troop withdrawal,” the Hohenlohe member of the Bundestag told the newspaper. “Other state governments were not so easily dazzled and were therefore better prepared.”
PARTNERSHIP: Numerous municipalities in Russia and Ukraine are linked to Baden-Württemberg through city partnerships. Baden-Baden’s Mayor Margret Mergen (CDU) proposed a dialogue meeting in the Black Forest to those involved in the Ukraine conflict on Tuesday. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 23)