Omicron variant dominates Explosive Covid-19 surge among schoolchildren in Bonn
Bonn · On Friday, the number of new infections within one day reached the highest level since the beginning of the pandemic. The health department expects a similarly steep rise in the next few days. Most affected are young people between five and 19 years of age.
The omicron variant is apparently in a phase of exponential growth in Bonn. On Friday afternoon, the NRW State Health Center (LZG) reported 393 new infections within one day - by far the highest daily number in Bonn since the outbreak of the pandemic. The seven-day incidence climbed to a new record of 441.3 (up 45.4).
For the coming days, the health department expects similarly high or even higher infection rates, as the press office explained in response to a GA query. The reason is the "highly contagious coronavirus currently circulating and the contact behavior of those affected," said city spokeswoman Barbara Löcherbach. The proportion of the particularly infectious omicron variant is growing accordingly. On Wednesday, the city reported 496 omicron variant infections since November. On Thursday, it climbed to 633 cases, on Friday up to 722, including 263 acute cases from the period of January 7 to 13. "In the differentiated samples, the omicron variant currently accounts for 89 percent," Löcherbach reported. Whether a viral variant is present can only be determined during a so-called sequencing of the sample - in Bonn this takes place in the laboratories of the University Hospital. So far in Bonn, there have not been severe omicron cases requiring hospitalization.
Outbreaks with at least three related cases are on the rise in long-term care facilities and day cares. On Wednesday, the city reported that the following facilities had been affected: Pflegewerk Bonn, Haus St. Agnes (four cases), the Heinrich Kolfhaus (six cases) and Haus Mühlenbach (ten cases), Johanniterhaus (twelve cases), and the daycare centers Wirbelwind (two employees, six children), and Büchelgarten (four employees, eight children) and St. Paulus an der Siegburger Strasse (two employees, three children). As of Friday, five more daycare centers were added: St. Marien, Waldorfkindergarten Bonn, Kita Rheinaue, "Naturkindergarten Grashüpfer", City Kita Stresemannstrasse. A residential group at Haus Maria im Walde is also affected.
No outbreaks in the schools themselves
The schools, which have been open again since Monday, play a minor role in the incidence of infection, according to the health department. "So far, hardly any outbreaks have been detected in Bonn as a result of contact between schoolchildren in schools; instead, they have mainly been individual cases," says the city spokeswoman. However, it is precisely in the age groups of schoolchildren that the number of cases have exploded much more than in all other age groups. That is illustrated by a comparison between Tuesday, January 11, and Thursday, January 13: In the five- to nine-year-olds, the incidence grew in these two days by 162 - from 419 to 581. In the girls and boys aged ten to 14 years, it was an increase of 122 - from 595 to 717. And in the 15- to 19-year-olds, the incidence rose even by 182 - 553 to 735. The information was reported by the LZG.
A total of 2,324 people in Bonn were infected and 2,469 in quarantine on Friday. The situation in the hospitals still seems relatively relaxed. The city reports 30 Covid patients in normal wards and 17 patients in intensive care units. Eleven of them are on ventilators. The death toll from Covid-19 rose by one to 307.