Euskirchen. A corona outbreak is currently occupying the authorities in Euskirchen. After the infection of a family of fifteen, about 500 members of a free church community have to be quarantined.
The health department in Euskirchen on Tuesday quarantined all members of the Mennonite brotherhood there. Father, mother and eleven of the 13 children of a family of the Mennonite community tested positive for the corona virus, according to the district administration. Church services of the congregation are prohibited "with immediate effect". The Menno-Simons school, which belongs to the church and which the children of the infected family attend, has been closed.
First, the mother of the family came to the hospital with symptoms, where she tested positive. Further tests showed that almost all members of the family were infected with Covid-19. "One family member showed mild symptoms, the others none at all," said the district administration. It could not be ruled out that other members of the congregation were infected, as the children had attended school the days before and the family had also attended church services.
According to the district, the health department wants to have all parishioners tested this week. It is still unclear how many of them there are, as the church membership is not officially recorded. According to spokesman Wolfgang Andres, the circle has received a list of about 500 names from the Mennonite community. These people and their children are now being tested. That is a total of about 1000 people.
How many children attend the Menno-Simons elementary and secondary school could not be answered by the district administration at short notice. The school would not comment on the incident. A press report from 2016 mentions the number of 130 secondary and 90 primary school children. According to the report, the school is also attended by children from outside the community.
According to District Administrator Günter Rosenke, the Mennonite Brotherhood is cooperative. "Immediately after the Corona cases in a family became known, I convened the crisis committee and also invited representatives of the community to attend. We agreed that everything must now be done to prevent further spread of Corona. The community representatives had actively supported the crisis committee's decisions.
Since the end of strict contact restrictions throughout Germany, there have been several cases of corona in free church congregations. Most recently, the district of Gütersloh reported that there was a link between corona infections at the Tönnies slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrück and a church service in Herzebrock-Clarholz.
Original text: Katharina Weber (with dpa material)
Translation: Mareike Graepel