Bad Ems pulls the emergency brake – problem caused by virus mutants


Just before the planned opening of primary schools on Monday, local authorities are sounding the alarm. View of a city in which the mutation is rampant and in which the school opening is tipped at the last second.

 The  news made Oliver Krügel breathe a sigh of relief and it came on Saturday at 1 p.m.: ©

 The  second primary school will not reopen on Monday in Bad Ems, where the 35-year-old is mayor. “We cannot open primary schools now, and I am glad that the knowledge prevailed.” One city pulls the emergency brake because the contagious variant is the harbinger of the third wave. And the parents are relieved.

Bad Ems could be an example of what can happen in many places in Germany. While declining corona numbers give hope all around where the mutation is not widespread, the British variant is quickly spreading in the city.

Every third case in the circle from the small town

Only every twelfth inhabitant of the Rhein-Lahn district lives in the district town with almost 10,000 inhabitants, but almost every third (29.3 percent) corona case is reported from there. After falling to 50, the incidence at the district level has risen to almost 80 again, and that’s only half the story: in some communities, no new cases have been counted for several days, but this is made up for because in Bad Ems and surrounding places the numbers are increasing sharply. ©

 The  British variant visited the daycare centers.

Of all, daycare centers. When the second lockdown was decided in December, Bad Ems pulled out of the Rhineland-Palatinate rule. No restricted regular operation in daycare centers, as the state wanted, only emergency operation and criticism from CDU Mayor Krügel on the line of the red-yellow-green state government: ©

 The re one does not recognize that the little ones cannot adhere to distance rules and educators are better protected would have to be.

On Saturday he succeeded in all elementary schools being closed. And on Monday a daycare summit will also take place on his initiative. It should also be about their extensive closure, about discussions with churches and all other sponsors in the city and neighboring communities. “In such a crisis we need clear decisions, and in the situation it is incomprehensible to leave the day-care centers outside,” says Krügel.

It’s not that he’s a lockdown fanatic. It is very difficult for the children, a year in the current situation has a completely different meaning for them because it has meant a large part of life up to now.

And in retail, where protective concepts could also be effective, he even advocates loosening and opening up. But observing distance rules and effective protection through masks is nothing that can be expected from children in elementary school – or even in daycare centers.

Disaster was on the horizon at the end of January


 The  disaster announced itself in a daycare center on the last Friday in January, with flu symptoms in a kindergarten teacher. ©

 The  employee of the municipal day care center Haus Maria Anna goes home and stays there for the next few days. ©

 The  day care center closes on Wednesday, February 3, because the woman’s test result is positive: Corona. In the following week should actually be opened again. Routine.

But nobody knows what will become known on February 6th and what will happen next.

On this day, the result of the sequencing is also certain: ©

 The  educator is ill with the British variant B.1.1.7. At this point in time there were eleven mutants in 248 cases across the region. ©

 The re are now 78 out of 225 infected people, which is a high 35 percent of all cases. And they mainly focus on Bad Ems.

What can be seen there on a small scale suggests a model for Baden-Württemberg, where the mutants have been systematically searched for for several weeks. Because it is known how much more transferable the problematic variants are, it is possible to extrapolate how their occurrence will affect the development of the total numbers. “With otherwise unchanged conditions, the rapid growth of the variants will overshadow the declining numbers of the conventional virus and lead to increasing total numbers,” says Cornelius Römer. ©

 The  physicist pointed out the danger of mutants as early as Christmas and is closely following the numbers.

Römer about t-online: “Where the variants already have a higher proportion, as evidently in Bad Ems or Flensburg, the influence on the incidence is already strongly noticeable – as will be the case in other regions in a few weeks and can be read in the model for Baden-Württemberg. ”

In Bad Ems, the two weeks in which the registered cases with the mutation have increased sevenfold, look like this in a fast run-through: On February 9, five teachers at the Haus Maria Anna day care center, a child and a mother have already confirmed the mutant. On this day, the Brandenburg education minister Britta Ernst announced the will of the ministers of education that “starting on February 15 (…) the lower age groups should also go to school again if the good development of the incidence values ​​continues”. ©

 The  Prime Ministers will make it the 22nd in most federal states. ©

 The  day when the elementary schools in Bad Ems were supposed to reopen and now they don’t.

Second day care center came into play

On February 13th there was the first confirmed case of an employee with a mutation from a second daycare center (“Play & Fun”) in Bad Ems. “Further test results are still pending,” said the district administration. ©

 The  sentence becomes the formula for bad news to come. In the Haus Maria Anna daycare center – with new test results – the number has increased further: 18 people are now positive according to the numbers of the district, 16 of them with mutants. ©

 The  health department now not only counts employees and their partners, daycare children and their parents and siblings in the cluster, but also contacts infected by them. Kreisweit is 44 times B.1.1.7 in 226 cases.


 The  numbers continue to rise in both daycare centers. On the 17th, the district’s health department at the Play & Fun daycare center counts six infected people, all with mutations.

February 19th is coming, and RKI boss Lothar Wieler will answer journalists’ questions in Berlin. “B.1.1.7 is even more contagious and probably more dangerous,” he says. “We have to adjust to the fact that fighting the pandemic will become more difficult.” In Bad Ems, a sick person from the daycare cluster is released from the hospital after three days and the first two teachers are negative again. Four others in the city daycare center do not: “©

 The y still feel totally in the bucket,” says city manager Krügel.

RKI boss Wieler expects more infected children

Around the day care center Maria Anna, 25 infected people were counted on this day, 23 with an identified mutation, plus eleven at the second day care center with B.1.1.7. In Berlin, Wieler said to the journalists: “Because the contagious variants are spreading, I expect more outbreaks, including among younger people, and more young adults, adolescents and children will become ill.”

As the schools open? ©

 The  school supervisory authority of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate is based at the Supervision and Service Directorate (ADD) in Trier, and Bad Ems is there with an urgent appeal. But not only Bad Ems.

Fritz Brechtel, CDU district administrator from the Palatinate district of Germersheim, where mutations were detected early, they account for 25 percent of the cases and the incidence of well over 100 is twice as high as the national average: “Although the facilities were only in emergency mode , there were four outbreaks in two elementary schools and one secondary school and a total of twelve outbreaks in six daycare centers. ”


 The  district administrator reported the findings of his health department: ©

 The  incubation period of the cases with a variant was well above the duration of five days. “©

 The  danger now is that kindergarten or school children show hardly any symptoms and that many people can infect many people unnoticed for a long time if they are infected.” That means: daycare centers and schools could become the drivers of the infection, which the ministers of education and some associations have vehemently rejected for months.

Presence requirement suspended in two circles


 The  appeals arrive: On Friday the ADD issued press releases that the compulsory presence in the district of Germersheim and in the district of Cochem-Zell will be suspended. ©

 The re are always CDU strongholds, which thus deviate from the country’s plans. However, the ADD tip explains: “We have always emphasized on the part of the state that the start of the alternating lessons must be in line with the infection rate.”


 The re is no press release from ADD on the local decision in Bad Ems: ©

 The  Ernst Born School near the Play & Fun daycare center will not open on Monday, the district decided in coordination with ADD. ©

 The  push out of town was successful.

But the city mayor is not yet satisfied with it: For the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Grundschule in another part of the city it should stay with the opening. Willi Willig, a journalist at the regional broadcaster TV Mittelrhein and at home in Bad Ems, reports that there was great displeasure. “©

 The  public pressure was great.”

Parents who want to leave their children at home write to Krügel, and the mayor advises: “After the third day you need a certificate, otherwise there will be trouble with the school inspectorate. Why is it mandatory?” Krügel to t-online: “I think it’s a fairy tale that the parents are predominantly pushing for a quick opening. I only received encouragement that I am committed to not opening up now.”


 The  district’s Corona staff meets again on Saturday and overturns the decision from the previous day: ©

 The  Freiherr vom Stein school is now also closed. ©

 The  mayor only gets likes when he announces this. “That was important,” says Krügel to t-online. “We have to act instead of reacting when it’s already too late. And that doesn’t just apply to Bad Ems.”

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Bad Ems pulls emergency brake problem caused virus mutants


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