Local news translated – Friday, Feb. 4

Host Nation Update, Feb. 4, 2022

Editor’s Note: Off-Post COVID rules are regularly updated and consolidated on the Stuttgart Citizen’s Local Coronavirus Rules Explained page.

Tübingen pathologist Hans Bösmüller – End of Corona pandemic in sight soon
Tübingen pathologist Hans Bösmüller is betting that the pandemic’s permanent phase could turn into an endemic Corona phase in four weeks. That means the virus is permanently present in the population. “Corona is going to stay, the variants are going to stay. You will have to reckon with more harmless variants like Omicron, but also with more aggressive ones with severe courses,” said the senior pathologist at the University Hospital in Tübingen.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, an endemic disease is one that occurs in an area and regularly affects a larger portion of the population – such as influenza. The immune system is then no longer confronted with a novel pathogen, but is armed by previous infection or vaccination.

At the end of February 2020, Bösmüller was one of the first people in Baden-Württemberg to test positive for the coronavirus. He caught it from his daughter, who was in Milan with an acquaintance from Göppingen. All three are well today and have not suffered any long-term consequences.

Bösmüller said he is watching Corona relaxations in neighboring European countries such as Denmark and Norway with interest. “We can be glad that we have neighbors who are breaking new ground. You don’t have to be the very first to the front.”  However, he can understand the cautious attitude of Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), who doesn’t yet see an exit from the Corona restrictions.  The CDU’s economic policy spokesman in the state parliament, Winfried Mack, is calling for an early departure from the Corona ordinances.The business community wants third gear. Kretschmann is just shifting into second.”

Apparently, the Immune competence is higher in Norway or Denmark than in Germany, Bösmüller said. That’s why those countries could ease up. “From their mistakes – or successes – we will learn. I think the experiment is interesting.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 4)

If the rapid test is positive – City of Stuttgart recommends PCR test for confirmation
Stuttgart – In the state capital, the capacity for PCR testing remains high. Currently, more than 12,000 such tests can be carried out daily in the appointed centers, as well as tests in doctors’ offices and clinics. In view of the “further rapid increase in the number of infections”, head of the office Stefan Ehehalt is therefore asking the population to “have a PCR test carried out if there is a claim”. 

Ehehalt is reacting to a “certain uncertainty as to whether, in the event of a positive rapid test, a proven PCR test can continue to be carried out”. In Stuttgart, there are more than “sufficient possibilities” for this .The results are also “reliable and are usually available within 48 hours. A PCR test is also required in the event of an unclear rapid test result, even for children in daycare centers and schoolchildren. And under the current regulation, “a positive PCR test is currently required to detect a survived infection.”  

Currently, anyone who has a negative rapid test, is in contact with an infected person, or has an infection but does not need to be treated by a doctor and is sent by the doctor, is entitled to a PCR test.   

Then, earlier this week, Berlin said that the entitlement to the high-quality, accurate PCR tests should continue for everyone.  “As of now, there is an entitlement to a PCR test, which is then also the proof of recovery,” the state social ministry announced  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 3)

Baden-Württemberg – State considers legal change to authorize police to check vaccination status
Stuttgart – The Baden-Württemberg state government is currently considering a legal change to allow police to check proof of vaccination. Until now, for legal reasons, these proofs could only be checked together with the local public order office. 

Therefore, it is being examined “whether and how a corresponding legal basis could be made”.  This would mean, for example, that police officers would not only be allowed to ask for identity cards when carrying out checks in restaurants, but also for proof of whether someone has been vaccinated or has recovered. Until now, only the local authorities’ public order offices have been authorized to do this.

It is legally questionable, for example, whether a new regulation would comply with data protection, because health data is extremely sensitive.  The spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Interior pointed out that the police already monitor compliance with the Corona measures, such as the obligation to wear masks. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 2.27 million people and 840,000 vehicles have been checked. In the process, 382,000 violations have been detected, she said. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 3)

Positive self-testing in schools and daycare centers – Why schoolchildren need to quarantine right away, but daycare kids do not
Stuttgart – kids attending daycare and schoolchildren currently have to test themselves three times a week in the morning. But if the self-test shows two dashes, it doesn’t always mean the same thing: For example, affected schoolchildren have to go into seclusion immediately after the first positive rapid test at school, but daycare children do not, This was made clear by the Ministry of Social Affairs in response to an inquiry.  

The reason: the tests at school are usually carried out under supervision, which is that the students test themselves, but have a teacher as a witness. “Professional rapid tests performed on the test subject by a trained person or self-supervised tests” establish “segregation qua regulation,” the ministry clarifies. Nevertheless, students must then go back for retesting. This can happen with a rapid test or PCR test. However, only a second negative PCR test can override the first positive rapid test. 

For daycare children, the tests usually take place at home. Parents do them with them. Such self-tests do not yet trigger a quarantine if they are positive, according to the ministry. Their result must first be confirmed by a follow-up test (rapid test or PCR test).  However, the following applies to daycare children as well as schoolchildren: They can release be released from quarantine after seven days at the earliest with a negative rapid test from an official center or with a PCR test. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 4)

Vaccination register pilot project
According to media reports, the B-W State Government is planning to establish a vaccination register as a pilot project. The B-W Health Minister Manfred Lucha (Greens) sees a register as an absolute necessity for enforcing a national vaccination mandate. The opposition SPD questions the sense of coupling the general vaccination mandate to the last-minute introduction of a register. B-W’s Commissioner for Data Privacy Stefan Brink says that a register might be legal, but he criticized the collection of data on vaccinated persons to find those who are not vaccinated. “It will gather the data of the white sheep with the goal of finding the black sheep through computer operations,” he said. The details are unclear, but it appears that the program would begin with voluntary registration for a digital record of all vaccinations and not just the COVID-19 vaccinations. (SWR Stuttgart, Feb 4)

NON COVID related news: 

BB district – Ehningen Fasching (Carnival) celebrated only via Youtube this year
Ehningen – On 11 November at 11:11 o’clock, the Ehninger carnival club was still able to officially open the “fifth season” on the market square in Ehningen. Of course, in accordance with Corona regulations. The actual parade would have taken place on February 13, however, had to be cancelled.  

Since mid-January, the colorful fabric remnants have once again been hanging in the Königstraße in Ehningen over a length of one kilometer. The Narren (fools) of the carnival club Ehningen have done a great job. But this time, the scraps of fabric do not announce the indoor carnival and the parade. They are rather the defiant confession of the Ehninger fools to their Fasnet in times of the pandemic.  After all, next Saturday an event will take place that many can look forward to.

The Youtube channel Fasnet.TV broadcasts from 7 p.m. summaries from the past parades in Ehningen  Since 2016, the point of contact, Mr. Schöbel has been filming the full-length Fasnet parades in the southwest, mainly from the Stuttgart region, which now conjure up Fasnet in the living room in times of pandemic. 

Also the Deckenpfronn parade will be shown on Saturday, February 19, from 7 p.m. on the Youtube channel Fasnet.TV.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 2)

Editor’s note: Learn more about inclement weather procedures at USAG Stuttgart