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Coronavirus in the region: Everything is on alert in the Rhein-Sieg district

Coronavirus in the region : Everything is on alert in the Rhein-Sieg district

The crisis teams in the Rhein-Sieg district are organising childcare for emergencies. The brothel in Rheinbach is closed from Tuesday. Everything is coming under scrutiny because of the coronavirus.

Since Friday, everything must be rethought. After NRW Minister President Armin Laschet issued far-reaching closures of schools and kindergartens, among other things, the message “general crisis mode because of corona” has reached people.

Since then, it has also been noticeable in the Rhein-Sieg district that everyone is trying to rearrange their lives. After it was initially unclear how the state decree for the schools was to be understood, things became clear at the weekend. Compulsory school attendance will be abolished as of Monday. Children up to the 6th grade will still attend school on Monday and Tuesday. And as of Wednesday, there will only be emergency care for children whose parents are indispensable in a crisis-related profession. For the day-care centres, the latter already applies from Monday: emergency care is only available for the children of crisis personnel.

Current figures from the Rhein-Sieg district 77 cofirmed coronavirus cases

After a six-hour meeting in the district hall yesterday evening, the crisis committee of the Rhein-Sieg district announced that in total, 77 people have now tested positive for the coronavirus. The health authorities are now in the process of determining the contact people of the sick persons. This will include all those who have had close contact with the patient in the last few days since infection. In addition to the swab centre in Siegburg, two further centres will be established in Hennef and Rheinbach. “We expect to be ready to start by the end of the week,” said district administrator Sebastian Schuster. It is also important to note that referral to the swab centres will only be made by the district health authority and the resident doctors.

The district’s coronavirus hotline is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm and is very busy. The district Administrator Sebastian Schuster asks for understanding and refers to the website www.rhein-sieg-kreis.de/corona. All important information is compiled on this site. The Corona citizen telephone can be reached at (02241) 13 33 33.

The confirmed coronavirus cases are: In the Rhein-Sieg district a total of 77 (432 people are in quarantine). By towns and municipalities: Alfter 7, Bad Honnef 2, Bornheim 8, Eitorf 2, Hennef 9, Königswinter 3, Lohmar 5, Meckenheim 2, Much 4, Neunkirchen-Seelscheid 2, Niederkassel 9, Ruppichteroth 1, Sankt Augustin 5, Siegburg 10, Swisttal 1 and Troisdorf 7.

Supermarkets:

On Friday afternoon, the rush for noodles and toilet paper in supermarkets increased rapidly and there was a scramble for the last free spaces in car parks. On Saturday morning, when the shops opened early in the morning, more customers than usual queued in front of the door and stocked up on durable food and hygiene products, as far as they were still available.

Hotline:

The Corona hotline of the Rhein-Sieg district at (02241) 13 33 33 was barely reachable and the three employees were simply overwhelmed. If the answering machine started and no continuous ring back tone was heard, then an automatic message relayed the message to call at a later time. Some people dialed the emergency number of the fire and rescue control centre. There, however, the employees could only refer people back to the hotline or to their own family doctor. The control centre worked with standard staffing on weekends and did not experience any overload.

Swab centres:

The crisis management team of the Rhein-Sieg district met at the weekend and primarily concentrated on the establishment of the two additional swab centres. One such facility is to be set up in Hennef in the course of the week in container buildings. A special drive-in facility is being considered, where medical staff can take a swab test with the car window rolled down. In Rheinbach, a stationary swab centre is being planned. This will be the grandstand building in the leisure park and is set to start on Wednesday. It is important, however, not to simply go there and patients must be expressly referred there by a family doctor or health office.

Crisis teams:

The crisis teams of the Rhein-Sieg municipalities were extremely busy this weekend. In Rheinbach, Mayor Stefan Raetz formed two crisis groups, which will meet at different times for reasons of hygiene. They will meet one after the other in a conference room, which will be disinfected in between. Among other things, they clarified that the town hall will be closed with immediate effect and that contact with visitors is only possible by appointment. Payments to refugees will from now on be made in an outside tent at the town hall. “We are one of the last cities without a coronavirus case and would like to stay that way”, said Raetz.

The crisis teams had to regulate how emergency care in schools and day-care centres could be arranged. In addition, an injunction was formulated according to which the Montemare swimming pool, all pubs, restaurants, sauna clubs and brothels in Rheinbach must close as of Tuesday. The VHS and music school are already closed. The question now is whether major events such as the May Fair and shopping on Sundays will have to be cancelled. “We are in an absolute crisis and many have not yet realized that”, complained Raetz, who is also spokesman for all mayors of the district. The Octopus swimming pool in Siegburg will also close on Monday.

Heike Jüngling, a representative of Königswinter city hall reported that “we sat together for six hours on Saturday, listened to a situation report, formulated tasks and sorted them by priority. The main topic was child care, but other things were discussed, such as how about scheduled weddings. Where there is no other option, appointments will be moved to larger rooms. An even more urgent question was how infected people in quarantine could be cared for by the city.

The municipality of Swisttal is closing the town hall and municipal facilities such as sports halls and swimming pools, and is suspending committee meetings.

Old people’s homes:

The state of NRW has stipulated that old people’s homes should reduce external contact to one visitor for one hour per day. This is the procedure used by the old peoples’ homes in Siegburg. The two Curanum old people’s residences in Hennef, for example, are generally closed and only allow their residents to visit in an emergency. “For example, if someone is suffering mentally because they no longer receive visitors,” says facility manager Hans-Josef Noppeney. If someone is dying, different standards of course apply. If you want to bring something to your relatives, you can hand it in at the reception desk. The group rooms will remain closed and smokers must smoke outside. The hairdresser's shop will temporarily close. “Most people understand our precautions,” says Noppeney.

Schools:

For Abitur students, the cancellation of classes from Monday onwards ended their twelve-year schooling without the possibility of preparation, which some students called disgraceful. The question was raised whether the dates for the Abitur exams would still stand, to which the answer on Sunday yes. If necessary, additional exam dates would be made. There was some confusion at the Siegburg vocational college, because the college’s homepage stated that compulsory schooling would be suspended from Monday onwards, and the responsible body, the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis, also spoke of complete closure, but individual teachers had scheduled a voluntary exam date for Tuesday.

At the weekend, the school management also had to organise how the teachers would give their pupils learning tasks this week. These must first be formulated and then transported via a digital channel. Some do this by e-mail, whereas other schools have already introduced apps and platforms that can be used for communication.

The Siebengebirgsgymnasium is in the special situation that it has one pupil who has tested positive for coronavirus, so that lessons have been cancelled since Thursday. Therefore, the transitional arrangement for Monday and Tuesday is also cancelled there. Only from Wednesday, will necessary support for fifth and sixth graders be established, reported headmistress Gabriele Jacob.

Churches:

The Archbishopric of Cologne announced that masses will be suspended throughout until Good Friday. Instead, rosary prayers and masses from Cologne Cathedral will increasingly be transmitted via livestream on the Internet at domradio.de. The Protestant Church initially allowed services to continue, but made sure that visitors were seated at a sufficient distance from each other.

Social media:

In the digital world, on the one hand, the wrong news made the rounds that the painkiller ibuprofen helps against a severe bout of coronavirus. After the news was spread via Whatsapp and Facebook, the denials promptly followed, always accompanied by abusive comments. A more positive approach was taken by the initiatives of the Bachelor and Civic Associations in the region to create networks to provide food to older citizens so that they do not have to go out unnecessarily.

(Original text; From Jörg Manhold, translation John Chandler)