1. GA-English

City of Bonn confirms: Refugee shelter in Bonn placed under quarantine

City of Bonn confirms : Refugee shelter in Bonn placed under quarantine

Following an outbreak of coronavirus in a refugee shelter, city authorities have placed it under quarantine. Meanwhile, ten employees at the Johanniter Hospital have tested positive for Covid-19.

A state-run refugee shelter in Muffendorf (ZUE) was not the only place where city health authorities reported a coronavirus outbreak. According to city spokeswoman Monika Hörig, ten employees at the Johanniter Hospital have also tested positive for Covid-19. The outbreak originated from an infected patient, she said. Contact persons are being traced. Johanniter spokesman Michael Forst said there are as many as 14 nursing staff who are ill. But it doesn’t seem plausible that one patient could have passed on the virus to so many of the nursing staff.

In the ZUE in Muffendorf, 40 residents and 25 employees tested positive. 20 of these employees come from Bonn. This Friday or next Monday, a complete round of testing is expected to take place, said Dennis Heidel from the district government of Cologne, which is responsible for the ZUE. In response to a GA question about how the outbreak could have occurred in the refugee accommodation, the spokesman said that the spread had originated from several cases occurring simultaneously in the ZUE. Masks are mandatory in the refugee center - unless a person is in their own room.

After the outbreak of coronavirus, the entire shelter, which houses 172 people, was quarantined, he said. Up to 480 people can be accommodated in the shelter. Because of the quarantine, meals are being distributed directly to the rooms and each person is being provided with some basic provisions. Those who are being accommodated there have also been told they can write up a shopping list.

"Employees from the support services then do the shopping," says Heidel. The most important thing for those who live there, he says, is functioning WLAN. That's why there is high-speed internet in the facility, he said. Electronic entertainment in the form of game consoles for families and streaming services are also available. Since children live in the ZUE as well, toys have been brought to the facility.

Although those who are accommodated there are not allowed to leave the refugee center during this time, the atmosphere remains calm. The public order office and the police are being kept informed of any developments. When asked, Heidel acknowledged that on Tuesday two residents had tried to leave the refugee center for a longer period of time. Within a very short time, however, they returned. "The general situation is not an easy one, especially for those living there. But thanks to extremely dedicated employees of the support services, the security service and colleagues from the district government, the situation is being managed in the best possible way," Heidel emphasized.

A quarantine went into effect in November for a state refugee facility (EAE) in the former Ermekeil barracks in Südstadt but that has since been lifted, according to Heidel. There are currently 160 people living there. Meanwhile, the city of Bonn announced that as of this Wednesday, all public and private sports fields in Bonn are now also closed for individual sports due to the high incidence rate.

Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen

Translation: ck