Local news translated – Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021

Host Nation Update, November 4

Corona warning level in Stuttgart – What you need to know about PCR testing

Stuttgart – It has happened: The Corona warning level is in effect. From now on, people who can be vaccinated but have not (yet) done so will need an up-to-date PCR test in many areas of life. Throughout the summer, one could still walk out of the house almost unprepared and be sure to pass by a testing site for the free antigen test. The search for test centers that work according to the PCR method, on the other hand, is somewhat more difficult.   There is free pricing for PCR tests.  There is a rule of thumb: the faster you want the result, the more expensive it will be. This is because the PCR method is more expensive than the rapid test. In principle, the test sites have two options: They can send the test kit after the swab to a laboratory that does the evaluation. This takes time. Or they can place a device for the PCR Rapid Test in their facility, which evaluates the tests directly on site. These are expensive, which affects the price. An example of this is the 30-minute test at Stuttgart Airport: the price of 239 euros is shown on the homepage. So if you don’t think about it until just before you leave for your vacation, you’ll have to dig deep into your pocket. A test, the result of which is available after 24 to 36 hours, is available for 49.99 euros at the Königsbau test center. The test center on the Cannstatter Wasen charges self-payers 156.08 euros for a single test.  As before, anyone who needs a PCR test for medical reasons does not have to pay. This applies both to people who have symptoms and to anyone who has shown a positive result on a rapid antigen test. Even after a red alert in Corona-Warnapp, you can get a PCR test without having to pay. Before that, one is entitled to a free rapid test. However, one should check its result with a PCR test to be on the safe side, since false positive results are also possible with rapid tests. Both rapid and PCR tests are still free of charge for people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 4)

Schools in Baden-Württemberg – Students, parents and teachers call for renewed mask requirement

Stuttgart – Students, parents and several teachers’ associations are calling for a return to mandatory masks in classes in light of the rising number of new Corona cases in schools. Quarantine measures have been taken at many schools, and classes have been cancelled on a massive scale. However, the schools had to remain open and at the same time safe places. Therefore, masks should be worn again in class after the fall vacations, the associations demanded on Thursday.    In the southwest, students have not had to wear mouth and nose protection in class since Oct. 18 when they are seated. Teachers also can forgo the mask in class, as long as they maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from students. A mask must still be worn everywhere else in the school building. In elementary schools, the mask requirement is completely eliminated in the classroom.  “The attempt to abolish the mask requirement in the classroom for pedagogical-psychological reasons has failed for the time being due to the resurgence of the pandemic,” the associations’ statement said. This was also shown by the incidences of 5- to 14-year-olds in the states without mandatory masks. “Masks in the classroom greatly help to prevent infection,” the students, parents and teachers’ associations stated.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 4)

Corona warning level in the southwest – Controls in restaurant planned     

Stuttgart – After the Corona warning level was triggered on Wednesday, the state wants to control compliance with the stricter rules, especially in the catering industry. All cities and municipalities are called to check on November 11 and 12 in restaurants, bars and pubs, especially the compliance with the 3G rule, announced the Ministry of Social Affairs in Stuttgart on Wednesday. With the warning level, guests who want to visit a restaurant must show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative PCR test.  According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, the campaign is intended to raise awareness of compliance with the stricter rules. Special attention will be paid to the control of PCR tests, said a ministry spokesman.  In other areas of life, however, control of the stricter Corona rules is not likely to be so easy – for example, with the contact restrictions for the unvaccinated. Several regulatory agencies in Baden-Württemberg announced that they would indeed monitor compliance with them – but not much more extensively than before for the time being.  The warning level had been triggered on Wednesday, because too many Corona patients are treated in the intensive care units of Baden-Württemberg. Stricter Corona measures therefore apply to the unvaccinated. Those who have not been vaccinated or have recovered will have to show an expensive PCR test for numerous leisure activities indoors – for example in restaurants, cinemas, swimming pools, museums or canteens. Outdoors, 3G detection will be required in the future, but then a rapid test will usually suffice. Contact restrictions will also return, at least for the unvaccinated.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 4)