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Rising infection rates and start of school: City of Bonn sets up renewed corona task force

Rising infection rates and start of school : City of Bonn sets up renewed corona task force

The City of Bonn will once again set up a crisis task force to fight the coronavirus. At a press conference in the town hall, city director Wolfgang Fuchs cited the rising number of corona cases and the start of school next week as the reason for forming a new crisis unit.

The City of Bonn will again set up a task force to manage the corona pandemic, it will meet on Monday. This was announced by city director Wolfgang Fuchs on Thursday at a press conference in the town hall. Rising corona infection rates are one of the reasons for the renewed efforts, which Fuchs attributes in part to those returning from vacation. Add to that, school will be starting up again on Wednesday.

Eleven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported by the health department for Wednesday alone, reported Fuchs. "Of course, there is much more testing going on," he said, but he also observed an increasing number of people in the city area who were not keeping their distance or wearing masks. He appealed to all citizens to adhere to the rules of hygiene and to wear masks where required. He also directed his plea to all staff in the town hall, where apparently quite a few employees are now coming together without masks or the proper social distancing.

According to state regulations, masks are now compulsory in schools. Students in secondary schools are required to wear them in class through August 31 (the GA reported). "Parents are responsible for getting the masks," emphasized school superintendent Hubert Zelmanski.

Here are more details:

■ Ventilation: In each classroom, at least two windows should be able to be opened at the same time for cross ventilation. After an inspection by the school authorities and the municipal building management (SGB), the conclusion was that this was possible in most schools with only a few exceptions. Where it is not possible, improvements are to be made before school starts. As well, all ventilation systems in the schools are to be checked.

■ Start of lessons: The city supports the schools in finding ways to stagger the start times for students. Also, it is currently working with transportation authorities to determine where and when it might be too cramped in buses and on trams in the morning and whether it is possible to use additional vehicles.

■ School cafeteria: School cafeterias are to reopen. Hand sanitizer dispensers and - where necessary - protective shields are to be set up there. In cases where several schools share a cafeteria, such as in Tannenbusch, authorities are looking into appropriate measures that can be taken. Handing out lunch packages is one concept under consideration.

■ School sports halls: Even if sports lessons are to take place outdoors until the autumn holidays, the city is already looking into how ventilation can be ensured in school gymnasiums and is making sure that there are enough soap dispensers in the restrooms.

■ School cleaning: The usual basic cleaning which takes place during the summer holidays has been completed in most schools. All surfaces on tables, chairs, door handles and handrails will continue to be disinfected daily as they were before the summer break. All classrooms will also continue to be cleaned five times a week. SGB follows up on these measures with inspectors and building maintenance supervisors.

Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen

Translation: ck