Local news translated – Jan. 20

Host Nation Update, January 20

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

Coronavirus in Baden-Württemberg – Why is the government hesitating with relaxing of COVID restrictions?
Stuttgart – Citizens in Baden-Württemberg must continue to live with the most severe restrictions in the state government’s level system: The alert level II remains in force, there will be no relaxations for the time being according to Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann and Social Minister Manfred Lucha on Tuesday.  

There was hope for relaxations because of the easing of the burden on intensive care units in the state – despite sharply rising incidences. At this point, it is not possible to predict how difficult the situation will be for intensive care units, he said. Therefore, the alert level II and the associated restrictions would have to remain in place. “It will probably take at least 18 days in which the Omicron variant will be dominating,” Social Minister Lucha explained. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Jan 19)

Karl Lauterbach expects hundreds of thousands of new infections per day
Berlin – Health Minister Karl Lauterbach expects several hundred thousand new corona infections a day by mid-February. It is to be assumed with regard to realistic scenarios, “that the wave will have approximately its peak in mid-February and that we must then expect several hundred thousand cases per day,” said the SPD politician on Wednesday evening.. He added that it was not said that the scenarios would occur, but “they have the greatest probability.”  At the same time, he said, there are countries that can cope with such numbers, even with regard to intensive care units, but in Germany the situation is different. “Because we have a high number of unvaccinated elderly in Germany, it can turn out quite differently here than in Italy, France or England, for example,” Lauterbach said. In England, for example, the number of unvaccinated people in the over-50s group is one to two percent, he said. “These are values that we cannot come close to.”  Lauterbach said regarding the currently quite low hospitalization rate, this is an “irrelevant snapshot” because the wave currently underway in England and France is yet to come in Germany. “I would expect the real strain on the intensive care units in mid-, late February, which is still a month away, and then I hope it will still look good,” Lauterbach said. “That will be the stress test, not what we’re seeing now.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Jan 20)

PCR testing to be prioritized soon
With PCR tests in short supply, Lauterbach wants to prioritize workers in sensitive healthcare facilities for laboratory evaluation. “We will actually get such high case numbers that we will have to distribute PCR, prioritize, for this I will present a proposal this weekend on how this should happen,” Lauterbach announced Wednesday evening. According to Lauterbach, the draft resolution is to be decided on Monday during renewed consultations between the federal and state governments.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Jan 20)

SPD parliamentary group for mandatory vaccination
The SPD parliamentary group wants to make a strong case for a speedy decision in the Bundestag on mandatory vaccination at its closed-door meeting on Thursday. The overcoming of the Corona pandemic has “absolute priority”, it says in the draft of the faction leadership for a work program, which is to be decided at the meeting. “We will move the parliamentary deliberations on mandatory vaccination forward swiftly and with due diligence.”

However, the paper does not specify a timetable.  It is planned, that after an “orientation debate” in the coming week from the ranks of the parliamentary group cornerstones for a bill will be presented. On this basis then with parliamentarians of other parliamentary groups on a common group request to be discussed, on which if possible by the end of March to be voted. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has spoken out in favor of the bill coming into force in April or May. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Jan 2j0)

Incidence continues to rise – Many infections in children – three daycare centers closed in Stuttgart
Stuttgart – Also on Wednesday, the uphill climb of the seven-day incidence continued in Stuttgart and the region. In the state capital, 830 new infections were registered, the incidence rose from 621.9 to now 647.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. 

In just one week, the incidence in Stuttgart grew from one record to the next due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, more than doubling in that short time. At the same time, according to the city, “there is an increased incidence of infection, particularly among children,” says press spokesman Sven Matis. This is reflected in the infection figures in the daycare centers.

On Wednesday, “after relevant outbreaks, 29 daycare groups with a total of 830 children and 53 employees were affected,” explains the city spokesman. In the course of the day, moreover, “three entire facilities were added, which are closed until further notice.” The daycare centers are located in Degerloch, in the South district and in Zuffenhausen. In total, there are a good 600 daycare centers in Stuttgart, according to the city.  The incidence rates in the surrounding districts are similarly high or even higher. The highest value continues to be in the Esslingen district with 896.9 cases (with another 835 new infections). The second highest incidence in the region is in the Rems-Murr district, where it is now at 702.3 cases with 781 new infections. In the Ludwigsburg district, 648 new infections were counted on Wednesday, with the incidence reaching 461.9 cases. At 523.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the value in the district of Goeppingen (plus 306 new infections). In the district of Böblingen, one has now a value of 594 cases, with 824 new infections.  (Sgtuttgarter Nachrichten, Jan 20)

Non- COVID related news:

A 81 extension – Nighttime closure at Calwer Bridge
Böblingen/Dagersheim – As part of the widening of the A 81 between the Sindelfingen-Ost and Böblingen-Hulb junctions, work will take place starting this week on the 1073 district road between Böblingen and Dagersheim in the area of the Calwer Bridge over the A 81. From January 20, preparatory measures for drilling will begin there and from January 23, further bored piles will be produced for the construction of the first new half of the bridge.  For this purpose, from Thursday, January 20, to Friday, January 28, as well as from Sunday, January 30, to Thursday, February 3, the district road in the direction of the city (Böblinger/Calwer Strasse and bridge over the A 81 between Böblingen and Dagersheim) must be closed nightly to traffic between the intersection of Dornierstrasse/Gottlieb-Daimler-Strasse/Böblinger Strasse and the intersection of Böblinger/Calwer Strasse/Heinkelstrasse/Flugfeld-Allee.

The closure will last from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each day.  The detour runs via Dornierstraße – Hanns-Klemm-Straße – Heinkelstraße to Böblinger/Calwer Straße. (BB.heute.de, Jan 20)