State government calls out the highest pandemic alert

In Baden-Württemberg, the new infections are rising to an alarming level, now the state government is intervening. The people in the south-west have to adjust to strong interference in everyday life.

Because of the sharp increase in the number of infections, the state government of Baden-Württemberg is calling out the highest corona alert. Further measures to contain the pandemic such as stricter mask requirements in public and further contact restrictions should apply from Monday, as Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) announced after an extraordinary cabinet meeting.

Due to the speed with which the pandemic is developing, the measures have to be tightened, said Kretschmann. People should avoid unnecessary travel and contact. “That is the order of the day so that everything does not get out of hand.”

Pandemic level 3: Entry into the “critical phase”

Pandemic level 3 means entry into the “critical phase”. This begins in particular when the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants exceeds the limit of 35 within a week. This has been the case in the southwest since last Thursday. On Friday, the so-called seven-day incidence was 42.2.

Kretschmann had already promised the third and highest level. It is also already clear that from Monday the mask requirement in secondary schools will also apply in lessons. So far it has only applied to so-called meeting areas such as school corridors, auditoriums and toilets. Masks still do not have to be worn in primary schools. In the Corona hotspot Stuttgart, a mask is already required in class.

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Seven-day incidence is crucial

The state government introduced the three-stage alarm system in September. The seven-day incidence is decisive for the classification. But other factors also play a role in the assessment, such as the absolute number of infections, the number of tests or the reproductive value (R value), which indicates how many people a sick person infects with the virus on average.

A good one and a half weeks ago the “rise phase” was proclaimed, in which outbreaks increase, cross county boundaries and are increasingly no longer comprehensible. This stage 2 was accompanied by stricter controls and appeals.

Strong interventions in Baden-Württemberg

The third, critical phase includes further restrictions on public life, such as the nationwide mask requirement in class. It applies above all to a nationwide seven-day incidence of 35 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The third phase is characterized by a strong, possibly exponential increase in the number of cases with diffuse, often no longer comprehensible chains of infection.

According to the concept of the state government, the number of people per point of sale should then be restricted in retail. In the catering trade, the serving of alcohol could be restricted, a reservation requirement introduced and operation restricted to outdoor areas. Events and contact options are to be restricted, and hygiene measures and sanctions for violations are to be expanded.

Standard care in hospitals should be limited to the bare minimum. These measures are intended to avoid the closure of schools and companies as far as possible.