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Statistics for individual districts: New Bonn map of Covid cases to enable more targeted response

Statistics for individual districts : New Bonn map of Covid cases to enable more targeted response

Analysts are praising the city's new Covid map, which assigns incidence figures to individual neighborhoods. They hope this will lead to useful information that can be used to break chains of infection.

When seven-day incidence figures of each of the districts of Bonn are assigned on a map, it provides a patchwork of shades of blue. These figures provide information on how many new infections occur within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants. New infections on May 12 were particularly high in Graurheindorf, Tannenbusch, Medinghoven and Hochkreuz, for example. Poppelsdorf, Lengsdorf and Ippendorf were in the mid-range. No cases at all were reported from the districts of Bad Godesberg-Nord or Schweinheim.

The map, published by the city for the first time last Thursday, tracks infection incidence in Bonn's 62 local statistical districts and provides the numbers of residents, new infections and incidence rates. The number of inhabitants is significant in calculating incidence. Statisticians correlate the number of cases based on inhabitants. Concrete example: In a district like Neu-Endenich with 3,863 inhabitants, five cases of infection mean an incidence of 128.8 for 100,000 inhabitants. In Kessenich with 12,870, on the other hand, the five cases result in an incidence of 38.8, since more than three times as many people live there.

On Friday, both Michael Herter, Managing Director of the data institute Infas 360, and geographer Christoph Höser from the GeoHealth Centre at the Institute for Hygiene and Public Health at Bonn University Hospital were delighted with the statistics, which will be updated every Thursday in the future. They can be found at the link www.bonn.de/coronakarte. "This is a good offer so that citizens can look specifically at what the infection incidence looks like in their local area. It's great that the city has made this happen so quickly," Herter said. He, Höser and another analyst from Infas 360 had pointed out to the GA a few weeks ago that smaller-scale data, such as that collected by the city of Cologne, could be used to deepen insights into infection incidence.

As Margarete Heidler, head of the health department, had said already on Thursday, Herter and Höser also emphasize that the infection figures now published are "a snapshot". They depict figures that are about a week in the past and are entered with a time lag so that they are purged of false positives. The city has announced that it will make further information available to the public. Conceivable, according to Herter, would be the number of vaccinated and recovered in the individual districts, "to be able to recognize the proportion of immunity". Figures on tests or information on outbreaks in schools, nursing homes or kindergartens in the respective districts would also be informative.

The goal is not to "marginalize groups" but rather protect them

On Thursday, Susanne Engels, head of the Bonn public health department, warned against drawing false conclusions. Using the example of Graurheindorf, she explained that the high incidence of 541 on May 12 was mainly due to outbreaks in three families with a total of 17 affected persons. This actually means that Graurheindorf residents can continue to move about safely in public, she said.

Geographer Höser told the GA that, in addition to the data now published, discussions were underway between the statisticians and the city on how, while respecting data protection, the small-scale data from Infas 360 could be intertwined with the city's infection data in such a way "that we learn to better understand the infection incidence." He said the goal is not at all to "marginalize groups," but rather to protect them. Researchers have shown that cramped living conditions increase the risk of infection.

Heidler had already indicated that the city could envision the use of mobile vaccination teams in high-incidence neighborhoods once sufficient vaccines are available and prioritization is lifted. Höser can also imagine more targeted advertising of education or vaccination campaigns. "It could also be that there are a particularly large number of people living in a local district who work in the manufacturing sector and cannot switch to a home office. That many of them drive to a certain other district in the morning and back again in the evening," Höser explained. Such knowledge, about the habits in neighborhoods, could enable more targeted action in the pandemic.

Orig. text: Philipp Königs

Translation: ck