Local news translated – Wednesday, Feb 3, 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 3, 2021

Stuttgart health department director pleads for more testing due to COVID mutations
Stuttgart – In view of the newly emerged coronavirus mutations, which are considered to be particularly infectious, the head of the Stuttgart health department, Stefan Ehehalt, pleads for more testing than before. If this is not possible free of charge according to the criteria of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), people with mild symptoms of the disease should also be tested at their own expense, explains the head of the office. Free tests are available with a referral from a doctor, an order from the health department, or an alert through the Corona app. For self-payers, a rapid test costs 38 euros, and a PCR test costs 156 euros. At 95 euros, a so-called PCR pool test is somewhat cheaper. In this case, five samples are mixed. If the test result of the mixture is negative, all five are negative. If the pool test turns out positive, at least one of the persons involved would be positive, then all five swabs are examined again separately. In this case, the evaluation takes two days longer than for the individual test. Appointments can be made via the homepages of the fever outpatient clinic in Stuttgart or the testing center at the “Wasen” (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, fest ground area). So far, four cases of infection with a Corona mutation have occurred in Stuttgart, three with the South African variant, one with the British variant. On Tuesday evening, the State Health Office reported 57 new infections with the coronavirus for Stuttgart, with the seven-day incidence dropping from 69.7 to 64.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 3)

Böblingen/Calw district: Corona rules:  Clinic visits only after negative Corona test result
Due to the occurrence of mutations of the coronavirus, the State government of Baden-Württemberg has once again adjusted the Corona regulations at short notice and taken further protective measures. Among other things, the regulations for visits to hospitals have been tightened again.  Visitors, accompanying persons and external persons at the sites of the Klinikumverbund Südwest are still required to wear an FFP2 mask or a mask of a comparable standard (e.g. KN95, N95) at all times in the hospital buildings. In addition, visitors must present a negative corona test for access to the clinic buildings. A test result (antigen test or PCR test) brought by the visitor must not be older than 48 hours at the time of the visit.  Only necessary accompanying persons of (potential) patients and other external persons, such as rescue services, police, fire department, service providers or craftsmen are exempt from this testing obligation.  The clinics of the Böblingen districts also offer visitors testing by means of an antigen test (rapid test) within certain time windows at the six locations on site. Visitors can find out within which times on-site testing is available by visiting the information on the website at www.klinikverbund-suedwest.de  It is also recommended that visitors also make use of the testing facilities, for example at the rapid test centers or the general practitioners in the region.  (BBheute.de, Feb 3)

Tübingen’s Lord Mayor Boris Palmer wants emergency approval of Curevac vaccine
Tübingen’s mayor Boris Palmer (Greens) is campaigning for the vaccine from the Tübingen-based company Curevac to be launched on the market by emergency approval. Because of the vaccine shortage, he said, rapid approval is necessary. “I would argue that the Curevac vaccine should get emergency approval, then we will have it available four or six weeks earlier,” so Palmer. “Curevac’s vaccine is just as safe and thoroughly tested as other vaccines”, he said. The vaccine is still under development. Like the vaccines from Biontech and Moderna, it is based on so-called “messenger RNA.” Curevac hopes to launch its Corona vaccine this summer. The EU Commission has come under criticism because vaccine is in short supply in the EU, and so far, fewer people have been immunized on a percentage basis than in the UK or Israel, for example. That’s partly because the drugs are supposed to get market approval in the EU instead of just emergency approval – and that takes longer. Therefore, the vaccination campaign has started later. Currently approved in the EU are vaccines from Biontech/Pfizer, Moderna and Astrazeneca. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 3)

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