Local news translated – Monday, May 11, 2021

Germany is currently under strict lockdown restrictions, which include curfews.
Click here for details on how the Baden-Württemberg ordinance affects the USAG Stuttgart community.

Daily Host Nation Update, May 11, 2021

Coronavirus in Baden-Württemberg – More and more hope for openings at Pentecost (starting May 23)

Stuttgart – In the cities and districts of Baden-Württemberg, hopes are growing that they will have reached the important Corona hurdles until Pentecost/Whitsun vacations and will be able to tackle openings.

While 37 of the 44 regions were still above the value of 100 infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week on Sunday, two more fell below the important value on Monday. Several other districts, such as the Ortenaukreis and the city of Karlsruhe, may follow in the coming days, according to information from the State Health Office (LGA) on Monday (as of 16:00).  The state wants to allow the operation of beer gardens and outdoor catering as well as hotels in less pandemic-stricken urban and rural districts. The condition, however, is that the seven-day incidence in these regions must remain stable at less than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for five consecutive days and within one week. However, this is not yet a done deal.  According to the LGA, the seven-day incidence continued to decline Monday. On average, 140.6 per 100,000 residents were found to be infected with coronavirus nationwide within the past week. The previous day, the value had been 145.2, and a week ago even 173.1.  In Baden-Württemberg, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute, 32.1 percent of the population has been vaccinated once against the virus to date. A second vaccination has been given to 9.0 percent; they are thus considered fully vaccinated. (As of May 10, 8 a.m.)  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 11)

When will Stuttgart’s outdoor pools open?

Stuttgart – The state is giving cautious hope to outdoor pool fans. “There were talks with relevant stakeholders on a working paper with key points on opening steps, in which opening prospects for outdoor pools are also envisaged,” the responsible Ministry of Social Affairs announced in response to a query from our editorial team. Part of these considerations are “similar to the past year: an occupancy limitation and hygiene measures.” In addition, testing and contact person tracking.  The Ministry of Social Affairs pointed to the nationwide emergency brake for incidences above the 100 mark and the associated closure of outdoor pools. “However, we are currently looking intensively at opening scenarios in order to be prepared accordingly when falling incidences allow opening steps again,” the spokesman said. The plan, he said, is “to be able to address opening steps in urban and rural districts with a stable falling incidence below 100 on five consecutive days” – including in relation to swimming pools. Details would be announced later this week. “We intend to have the opening strategy legally in the course of this week, so that in any case there is clarity in time before the Whitsun vacations, which areas can open when and under what conditions,” the spokesman further explained.

Stuttgart’s five outdoor pools would be ready for the start of the swimming season: they could bring the water to the right bathing temperature within a week.  However, the state capital of Stuttgart does not currently meet the incidence requirements for a possible opening. The incidence rate recently continued to exceed 200. In the course of the first lockdown, all public swimming pools had to close in March 2020. Following a decline in incidence figures, outdoor pools in Stuttgart reopened on June 15 – subject to hygiene measures. The Leuze mineral baths reopened on July 29. The outdoor pool season officially ended on September 13, with the Höhenfreibad Killesberg closing on September 20. Mineralbad Berg, with its outdoor pool, reopened on October 5 after four years of renovation. All pools have been closed since November.  According to the state’s currently valid ordinance, the outdoor pools will remain closed until at least May 22. Last season, there were no infections in the city’s outdoor pools. Online ticket sales were introduced to make it easier to control visitor numbers, a cleaning system was developed and a hygiene concept was installed. Instead of up to 15,000 visitors, for example, only 1,050 were admitted. (Stgt Nachrichten, May 11)

Possible loosening of Corona restrictions– Incidence in Böblingen district falls below 100

Böblingen district – On April 24, the incidence in the Böblingen district had reached its peak: more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days were recorded at that time. Since then, however, the number has been falling continuously, at times even at a rapid pace. On Monday, May 10, the Böblingen District Office reported an incidence value of only 100.3, and the State Health Office even reported a value of 92.4 in the evening.  If this value remains stably low in a district on five consecutive working days, relaxations are pending, as the State Minister for Social Affairs Manfred Lucha has recently reaffirmed.

A graduated plan is to be poured this week into a binding federal state regulation. The concept provides for openings in various areas in a three-stage process. In the first stage, for example, outdoor catering, hotels and also the retail trade are to regain their freedoms. In addition, libraries, museums, swimming pools and open-air culture could be allowed to open. Low-contact sports should be possible with a maximum of ten people. In the best case, this could come true in the Böblingen district in the middle of next week.  Important here: the openings are to be accompanied by daily negative tests, apps for contact tracking, limited visitor numbers and the usual hygiene and distance measures.  The question remains whether the openings have a negative impact on the incidence value. As of today, schools in the district of Böblingen are open again in alternating classes, and in addition, shopping with an appointment (click & meet) has been possible in retail stores since Monday. If the incidence remains permanently low, however, further openings could again take place after 14 days.  (Stgt Nachrichten, May 11)

Non Corona News

Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium Sillenbuch (Moehringen area)

White roses in memory of dark times

Sillenbuch – For the school community of the “Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium” in Stuttgart-Sillenbuch, it is more than just a name. The story of resistance fighters Sophie and Hans Scholl is omnipresent at the Sillenbuch school. As recently as December, ninth graders worked on projects to help the new fifth graders understand who the namesakes were, and the current high school graduates also made a short film on the topic, explains history teacher Kathrin Streif.  On May 9, Sophie Scholl would have turned 100 years old. For this occasion, a group of almost 20 young people had thought of actions at the suggestion of the teacher. “They are already experts,” she says. For example, the students distributed 100 white roses on Kirchheimer Strasse and in the Eichenhain grove – in memory of the eponymous resistance group in which the siblings had been active against the Nazis until their murder.  At the same time, the young people collected donations for the White Rose Foundation. Also on May 9, a video was released that the group of students made. It contains interviews on the subject of Sophie Scholl. “The plan is for the video to be released internally at school first, but we are looking into showing it beyond the school walls,” it’s important to remember Sophie Scholl. “That courage she mustered, that already sticks,” she says. The topic has lost none of its relevance almost 80 years after the murder of the then 21-year-old student, as right-wing motivated efforts and acts of violence continue to be registered in Germany. Teacher Kathrin Streif is thrilled: “It’s incredible what they’ve put together in a short time.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 11)