Local news translated – Friday, Feb 5, 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 5, 2021

Development of Corona infections – Böblingen district is no longer a risk area
The district of Böblingen has achieved the goal set by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU): the incidence value has now fallen below 50. This also means that the district is no longer a risk area however, on Wednesday, there were still 46.84 new corona cases in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants. In the local hospitals the number of patients did not change over the past weeks. The rapid test centers that have been gradually setup since Christmas are having an effect: more than 4,400 tests were taken there, and 80 Corona infections were discovered.

The incidence value of 50 is considered a magic mark: then contact tracing for new infections is possible again, and the healthcare system is not overburdened. For three months now, the incidence of infection in the Böblingen district has been falling continuously. The peak was on November 9 with an incidence value of 190; the magic mark of 50 was last exceeded on October 18. “The trend has been noticeable for weeks and shows that the measures have been successful,” says District Administrator Roland Bernhard about the lockdown and contact restrictions. He thanks the citizens who followed the rules.  In the Stuttgart region, Böblingen is one of the districts, along with Göppingen and the Rems-Murr district, that have achieved an incidence value below 50. In Stuttgart, the number is 65 and in Baden-Württemberg 70.7. The highest incidence value is in the city district of Heilbronn with 173.8, and in neighboring Calw there were almost twice as many new infections per 100,000 inhabitants last week with 86.1. Currently, 202 corona cases are reported in the district of Böblingen. In Bondorf and Holzgerlingen, no infection is known at the moment. However, the situation can change quickly: In Hildrizhausen, where no one was sick about two weeks ago, there are three cases again. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 5)

Stable situation in hospitals
The number of Covid patients being actively treated is almost the same number as two weeks ago. Of these, six patients, all of whom also require ventilation, are in intensive care units. In addition, there are ten suspected cases. The four hospitals in the Böblingen district account for 25 corona patients, one of whom is in intensive care. According to the hospital association, there are still severe courses of the disease. The hospital association has already started to make up for some of the operations that were postponed due to the corona pandemic – with an eye on the development of the number of cases. Of the 68 intensive care beds currently available, 52 are occupied by ordinary patients.(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 5)

Merkel warns against ‘false hopes’ of easing of restrictions
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) sees reason for hope in the Corona crisis, but at the same time warns against “false hopes” in view of possible easing. “I see a slight light at the end of the tunnel, but it is an incredibly difficult time,” Merkel said. The peak of the second wave has passed, she said. The infection numbers went down significantly, and there are increasingly vaccinations. However, target values have not yet been reached. Merkel referred to the danger posed by mutations of the virus. She again appealed for understanding for her policy. She had to make “tough decisions” again and again, she said. “And how I would also like to announce something good. But there’s no point, we mustn’t raise false hopes, and that’s why I always try to be realistic.”

The federal and state governments plan to discuss their next steps in the Corona pandemic on Feb. 10. During their last meeting on Jan. 19, the head of States had decided to extend the Corona pandemic lockdown until mid-February. Restaurants and bars, recreational facilities and many businesses will remain closed at least until that time. However, at the same time, the federal and state governments had agreed that a working group would come up with a concept for a “safe and equitable” opening strategy. (Welt.de, Feb 4)

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