The phone of camelia fiedler, head of the kulmbach health department, did not stand still for a minute on monday. Rough is the uncertainty of the burgers in view of ever new corona infection reports in bavaria. "There is a lot of need for clarification at the moment," said, camelia fiedler said and emphasized: concerned citizens can turn to the health office for advice at any time.
In order to clarify possible suspicious cases, the following basic questions were asked: do you have any symptoms? If this is answered in the affirmative, the next question is "were you in a risk area??" Or "had you had contact with a confirmed corona case?" One of these two questions will also be answered with "yes" answered, one speaks of a suspicious case. For kulmbach, the head of the health department can give the all-clear at the moment: "there is no suspected case in the district."
While the health department staff must have been working overtime on the phone, there was no sign of panic at the schools on the first day after the vacations. The situation is relaxed, explained the head of the school authority, michael hack. Only at one school in the district had there been a request from parents, because a child had returned from a skiing vacation in sudtirol. After consultation with the school and the education authority, the child went to class as normal, since it had not been in a risk area. "Otherwise everything quiet", said hack.
His opinion is also shared by the heads of the schools in kulmbach. At the carl-von-linde-realschule, the mood on the first day after the carnival vacations was almost the same as always, reported principal monika hild. "We are all just a little more attentive than usual." The staff did not bury each other with a handshake as usual on monday morning. But no one – neither teachers nor students – stayed at home because of the suspected case of corona.
In the first lesson, the teachers reminded the students about sneezing etiquette and asked them to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly. A letter was sent to the parents with the information from the ministry of education. You also don’t have to worry about class trips at the realschule. The ski courses that take place every year in austria are over, and other trips to southern climes or risk areas are not currently on the agenda. "We are taking it calmly and hope that things will remain as calm as they are," said monika hilda, said monika hild.
Also at the caspar-vischer-gymnasium the situation on monday was quite normal, no student stayed at home because of corona, explained principal ulrike endres. On sunday, they had forwarded the ministry of education’s leaflet on the subject to the parents by e-mail; the recommended rules of conduct were listed on the school’s homepage. "It was important for us to inform the parents and the schoolchildren," says endres, says endres. The aim is not to spread panic, but to raise awareness of the precautionary hygiene measures. She had also designed posters that were hung up in the toilets and in the school building. "We are doing everything we can to avoid a possible infection."
A skiing course is currently taking place in austria. Before the departure, the health and school authorities were consulted and the facts of the case were carefully checked. But since it was not a risk area, there was nothing to stop the trip.
The head of the markgraf-georg-friedrich-gymnasium, horst pfadenhauer, relies on a consistent hygiene chain and a large portion of calmness and vigilance. There were no suspected corona cases or vacation stays in risk areas to report at his school either. "We are running the normal school business." Nevertheless, his working day started much earlier than usual on monday, so that he could make all the necessary arrangements and preparations – not least to relieve his colleagues of any possible uncertainty.
Before the start of the first lesson, pfadenhauer gave his teachers official instructions to discuss the necessary hygiene rules with the students at the beginning of the lesson. Appropriate postings have been made in the toilets. Parents had already been informed over the weekend via the school’s own information network, and there had also been repeated consultations with the relevant authorities during the vacations. In this context, pfadenhauer complimented the authorities, saying that the networking between the various agencies was excellent.
Not corona but the flu is currently the bigger problem, says pfadenhauer. On monday he even sent home some very cold schoolchildren. In view of the precautionary measures taken ("in all consistency we play the hygiene card") the MGF will also in good conscience carry out the information day for the future fifth graders next saturday as planned.
Elke wuthe, head of department at "die kita, reports: "currently there are no special incidents in our facilities." However, there are questions and certain uncertainties on the part of some parents. "For this reason, we have sent out a corresponding letter to parents, in which we give the legal guardians of our children information about the precautionary measures in our facilities." The classic rules of conduct were introduced with the children; these included regular hand washing and sneezing into the crook of the arm.
Protective masks at horrendous prices
Also in the practice of thomas koch in mainleus, chairman of the medical district association kulmbach, everything is still quiet. However, the general practitioner expects that the first corona traps will soon appear in the district of kulmbach as well. Koch emphasizes that in the event of a suspected corona infection, the person concerned should first contact the family doctor by telephone, as this is the only way to avoid further infections. Affected patients could be treated by thomas koch in an isolated room in his practice. The GP is concerned about the shortage of protective clothing for medical staff. He was only able to get hold of ten FFP3 masks (special protective masks with a valve) at ten times the price. Similar situation with disinfectants. Here, too, prices have risen enormously. Koch expects support from the state here, because the situation should not be exploited.
Anyone who talks about corona also has pictures of half-empty department store shelves in their mind’s eye. Panic shoppers are said to have robbed entire supermarkets within hours in italy, for example. "To talk of hamster shopping would be hopelessly exaggerated in our case", says norman liebeskind, personnel manager at edeka seidl. Efforts are being made there to "keep the shelves up to date", as he says. "However, we are noticing an increase in sales of individual products, such as disinfectants, but also basic foodstuffs such as pasta, rice and flour products. We have no supply bottleneck and enough stock, only in the case of the above-mentioned hygiene products, the lines have dried out."
Hospital physician thomas banse: "kulmbach hospital is well rested"
The hospital in kulmbach has also been receiving an increasing number of inquiries about the corona virus in the last ten days or so. "Depending on how high the wave of drapes goes up or down, we sometimes receive more, sometimes fewer calls", says thomas banse. The specialist for internal medicine is also the chairman of the hygiene commission at the hospital.
Those who call the hospital out of personal concern or for general information about covid 19 are advised accordingly or ultimately referred to their family doctor or the public health department. "There have been no suspected cases at the hospital so far, and no one has been admitted to the hospital with a suspected corona virus infection."
"Information flow works
At the hospital itself, there is a task force in which clear procedural plans have been drawn up in accordance with the permanently updated specifications of the robert koch institute and the ministry of health. This week there is also an extra meeting with the ministry for representatives of all bavarian hospitals. Banse praises politics and the authorities. "The chain seems to work well, at least in the free state, and the flow of information from the RKI, the ministry and the local health authorities is good from the point of view of the medical profession."
Kulmbach itself is prepared for the eventuality of the trap, according to the physician. "Of course, one must reckon with the fact that even here a suspicious case can arise. After all, there is already a confirmed case in the bayreuth district, which is not far away."
Sufficient isolation rooms are available for the treatment of potential patients. "These people were first admitted to the emergency room in the isolation area. With several confirmed cases, more rooms love to be converted into isolation wards." Those who showed symptoms but did not feel seriously ill were sent to home quarantines "which relieved our situation in the hospital". Banse emphasizes, he has for our region at present no rough worry that it could come even to an epidemic. "To date, we do not live in a risk area; in addition, in bavaria, extensive tracking of people who could have been infected by a sick person is currently still possible."
The doctor now hopes that, not least because of the much warmer weather forecast for march, the risk of infection – similar to influenza – will be greatly reduced. "The virus survives worse in warm weather."