Local news translated – Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Host Nation Update, July 6, 2022

Despite higher prices in Stuttgart – Fish market to remain a festival for all

Hooray! The Hanseatics are back! This Thursday, the Hamburg fish market opens on Karlsplatz in the city center. For the 33rd edition, much has remained the same, but some things will be different.In addition to Käse-Fred, Aale-Dieter will also be back at the start. The Gourmetzelt Hamburg-Sansibar has no longer been set up, and at some stands the operators have changed. But almost all the suppliers from the far north are back.


Summer in the Courtyard at Waldenbuch Castle

Waldenbuch. One of the beautiful places in the Stuttgart region to let summer feelings arise is the castle courtyard in Waldenbuch. In 2022, the Museum of Everyday Culture at Waldenbuch Castle will once again organize the “Summer in the Courtyard” there with numerous cooperation partners. From June 25 to September 11, the courtyard invites visitors to linger and participate with seating and playground equipment in the form of an artistic intervention.  Whether with a cool drink, a picnic basket put together by the neighboring restaurateurs, or a fruit popsicle from the museum store – here you can relax and enjoy the fantastic panoramic view of the old town and the Schönbuch. In front of the castle, the beach bar also offers a charming vacation ambience.  (BB.heute.de, July 6)

Böblingen district: Lightning strike in waterworks

The water is now harder in many communities in the district

Böblingen district. Due to a lightning strike, various components of the control system were permanently damaged despite comprehensive lightning protection measures. The plant had to be completely taken out of operation. The available spare parts were not sufficient to repair the damage. Due to currently known supply bottlenecks, various spare parts had to be gathered at short notice from all over Germany. The local water provider expects the plant to be completely back in operation by the end of the current week. At the beginning of this week, the failure of the softening plant led to an increase in water hardness in the company’s own and mixed water areas. The hard water will result in comfort restrictions during use. Regardless of this, the requirements of the Drinking Water Ordinance are met at all times. The cities of Böblingen, Holzgerlingen and Waldenbuch as well as the communities of Altdorf, Schönaich, Steinenbronn and Weil im Schönbuch are affected by the increased water hardness. (BB.heute.de July 6)

COVID-19 related news

Experts Report on COVID Measures

Germany’s Commission of Experts presented their report on the effectiveness of COVID measures on July 1, 22. The German Federal Government had tasked the commission to study the measures implemented to dampen and control the spread of the coronavirus, including contact and access restrictions, remote learning, and mandatory mask wear. The FDP, one of the members of Germany’s ruling coalition, has insisted on reviewing the report before deciding on possible measures to counter the coronavirus wave expected in fall and winter. Separately, B-W Health Minister Manfred Lucha (Greens) will meet for the first of four conferences with state level health experts to discuss measures B-W can take moving ahead. (SWR, July 4)

BA.5 Dominance Increasing 

In its weekly report the Robert-Koch-Institute (RKI) reported that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has increased as a portion of COVID-19 infections to 66%. The subvariant BA.4 is also increasing in frequency but not as quickly as BA.5. In the report, the RKI stated, “There are no indications that the dominating Omicron line BA.5 itself causes more severe courses of disease or a higher lethality than previous virus variants. Nonetheless, just from the strong increase in cases of infection right now, a corresponding higher number of severe cases of COVID-19 infections can be observed, which are already leading to a higher number of hospitalizations.” (RKI/SWR July 4)

Baden Württemberg’s preparation for fall 

In the coming weeks, the B-W Social Ministry will hold four hearings with subject matter experts (SME) to plot a course for B-W’s reaction to the anticipated coronavirus wave in fall and winter. B-W’s preparations are based on four pillars: surveillance, vaccination, SME hearings, and changes to the federal Infection Protection Law. Using verified data and strictly monitored testing especially among vulnerable groups, B-W plans to continuously track where the virus is spreading the most and target the state’s reaction accordingly. Vaccination centers will be on stand-by and able to rapidly ramp up vaccinations, particularly to meet the increased demand anticipated when vaccines targeted at Omicron variants are available. The hearings with SMEs before the summer break will address a range of SARS-CoV-2-related topics and establish a framework for B-W’s coronavirus management. Finally, B-W will continue to urge the German Federal Government to amend the protection law to give the federal states a “toolbox” of measures, such as mandatory masking indoors and access and contact restrictions. Referring to B-W’s plans and the need for the federal toolbox, Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) emphasized, “I have no authoritarian urges, and I am no fan of curfews. I am a proponent of employing these instruments when they are needed,” he added. (B-W/SWR, July 4)

End of Cost-free COVID Tests

On Friday, German Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) announced that beginning in July, people getting rapid antigen tests will be required to pay a 3.00 EUR co-payment for the tests. The German Federal Government will pay 6.50 EUR, reducing the overall expected cost for the government from 5 billion Euro to 2.7 billion Euro. There are exceptions for vulnerable groups such as children under 5 years old and women at the beginning of a pregnancy. The tests will also remain cost free for visitors to clinics and nursing homes. (Tagesschau, July 1)