Host Nation Update, Wednesday, January 26
Coronavirus in Baden-Württemberg – Corona incidence shows fall
Stuttgart – The corona incidence in Baden-Württemberg is fell on Tuesday (as of 4 p.m.), the state health office reported 869.6 registered infections within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants. That was a minus of 7.7 compared to Monday. Only on Sunday the value had exceeded the 800 mark. A week ago, the figure was 575.6.
The number of COVID 19 patients and residents in intensive care units continued to drop from the previous day – down 7 to 286, compared with 330 the previous week. About 12.7 percent of ICU beds in the country are reportedly occupied by COVID patients. The previous week, the figure was 14.6. The nationwide hospitalization incidence decreased 0.2 from the previous day to 4.8, which indicates how many Corona-infected people are hospitalized within a week and per 100,000 population.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the state health office now recorded 1,250,278, which was 16,076 more sick people than Monday. 13,587 people died from or in connection with Sars-CoV-2, according to the office, 14 more than a day earlier. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Jan 26)
Corona situation in Baden-Württemberg – Winfried Kretschmann explains Corona course at state parliament – first relaxations of COVID ordinance
Stuttgart – After the decision of the federal government and the states for continuing the current Corona measures, Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann wants to explain his “course of prudence” at the state parliament on Wednesday (at 9.00 a.m.). Despite concerns about overloading clinics because of the increasing Omicron variant, there will be some relaxation towards the end of the week. The background is that the government of the Greens and CDU must reinstate the regular tier system. Most recently, it had frozen alert level II because of Omicron. However, the Administrative Court considers this approach to be illegal and has already suspended individual measures at universities and in the retail sector. The reason for this is that the load in hospitals is currently below the limits for alert level II.
Now the government is also expected to pass its new Corona ordinance on Wednesday, which expires at the end of January. This would mean that the normal alert level would then take effect again. However, the “green-black” political parties want to adjust the individual rules here again. It is already clear that there should be first opening steps in stores and at major events. However, the government tightens in return the mask obligation in buses and trains. The obligation to wear FFP2 masks will probably apply there from Friday onwards. However, there are still unresolved issues: the return to the normal alert level would actually also mean that only 2G and no longer 2G plus would apply in restaurants. And the curfew from 10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. would also be passé. The question is whether the government will actually put this into effect, and it is also questionable whether clubs and bars will be allowed to reopen. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Jan 26)
Changes to quarantine period, status of vaccination registry and PCR test prioritizing
Changes in quarantines will apply as early as today (Wednesday).
- Recovered with at least one vaccination will be considered boosted and thus no longer have to be quarantined as contacts.
- So far, household members and close contacts do not have to be quarantined if they are vaccinated or recovered or boostered.
- For those who have been vaccinated twice, the second vaccination should be no less than 15 and no more than 90 days ago; for those who have recovered, the PCR evidence of infection should be no less than 28 and no more than 90 days old.
- Baden-Württemberg, together with Hesse, issued a protocol declaration on a vaccination register at the federal-state meeting on Monday. This is initially not at all related to a vaccination obligation, but is “absolutely necessary,” said Winfried Kretschmann. An immunization register with the option of linking it to digital patient records could also be “a central building block for the digitization of the healthcare system.”
- PCR tests are to be reserved for vulnerable groups and their caregivers. At schools, the state will offer “good antigen rapid tests” as a substitute according to B-W’s Health Minister Manfred Lucha. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Jan 26)
Vaccination campaign at Stuttgart’s Wilhelma Zoo this Saturday
Stuttgart – In view of the large number of new infections with the coronavirus in Stuttgart and the region, Wilhelma is once again participating in the state’s vaccination campaign. Visitors of the Zoological-Botanical Garden can get vaccinated against the coronavirus on Saturday, 29 January, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. during their normal visit. The medical part of the campaign is being taken over by the Stuttgart Medical Association. The Wilhelma zoo creates a pleasant environment with free catering, entertainment and a raffle for free tickets as well as an animal encounter with the Poitou donkeys. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Jan 26)
NON-COVID related news:
Böblingen – Construction closures at “Rauhen Kapf” area
Böblingen – At Rauhen Kapf, many lines are currently being relocated: District heating, pipelines, water pipes, empty pipes for fiber optic technology – construction work has been underway since 2021 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
There are again several construction phases, which bring traffic restrictions in the Taunusstrasse. From Tuesday, February 1, until probably the beginning of April 2022, the area of Taunusstraße between house numbers 49 and 61 must be fully closed. From Tuesday, February 8, until probably mid-April 2022, the spur road to the buildings at Taunusstraße 33 to 43 will be affected. (BB.heute.de, Jan 26)
Shooting at Heidelberg University – students “in shock mode” – lecture hall remains closed
Heidelberg – Following the shooting at a lecture hall at Heidelberg University, the affected faculty is suspending its classroom events for students in the first semester for the time being. This will initially apply until the planned central mourning service on Monday.
On Monday, an 18-year-old faculty student had lightly wounded a 19-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man with gunshots during a tutorial primarily for freshmen in a lecture hall. A 23-year-old female student later died as a result of being shot in the head. The suspected shooter killed himself after the crime. The building containing the lecture hall where the shooting occurred remains closed for the time being. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Jan 26)