Currently 170 school classes in Dortmund are closed because of Corona and the pupils are in quarantine. Photo: Alexander Volkel for Nordstadtblogger.de
The Omikron wave has Dortmund firmly in its grip: week after week, the incidence values reach new highs – and this despite the fact that the health department does not (no longer) manage to enter all new infections on a daily basis. The official seven-day incidence for Dortmund is 1923.4. "The estimated incidence in Dortmund is 2300 to 2500," makes Dr. Frank Renken clear. The head of the health department looks with concern at the declining willingness to be vaccinated and the voices calling for relaxations and a sweep. Because hospital occupancy rates are on the rise.
At elementary school age, the seven-day incidence is 5000
Dr. Renken is a friend of clear words: the current incidence of infection does not surprise him. And he also makes no secret of the fact that his office, despite the greatest efforts at the moment, does not manage to enter the real numbers fully updated on a daily basis.
Dr. While Frank Renken did not – as the background image of the video conference suggests – escape into space. But there are hardly any safe places left at the moment. Photo: Screenshot
"Dortmund has reached certain limits with the data entry system when the incidence has developed well above 1000. On the one hand, the transfer from one system to the other is done manually. Both the municipality and the software can’t manage it all on a daily basis," Renken admits.
"The incidence figure 1923.4 is also too low. We are not flying blind, but with the numbers only close to reality. It would need a second incidence as an estimated incidence," he makes clear. However, even the available figures underpin the dramatic infection incidence. Schools and daycare centers are most affected. Here are the incidences by age group:
- 00 to 05 years: 2384
- 06 to 10 years: 4940
- 11 to 15 years: 5156
- 16 to 20 years: 3046
- 21 to 25 years: 2012
- 26 to 30 years: 1887
- 31 to 35 years: 2163
- 36 to 40 years: 2368
- 41 to 45 years: 2209
- 46 to 50 years: 1665
In the city districts, the familiar picture emerges – albeit at an even higher level: all northern city districts have a seven-day incidence of more than 2000 – with Nordstadt at the top – it scrapes the 3000 mark even with the official figures, which are too low. The more southern districts of the city were significantly below this level – all below 2000.
There are now more severe courses of the disease in clinics
The restrictive visiting regulations in the Dortmund hospitals applied only temporarily. Photo: Dortmund Hospital
The further increase in the number of infections is also having an ever greater impact on hospitals. Currently, there are 171 patients with Corona in Dortmund hospitals – whereby no distinction is made whether they were admitted because of Corona or because of another disease (and are also positive).
There are also more people with moderate to severe courses in treatment. This becomes clear by the increase of the numbers on the intensive care units: 18 patients are treated because of Corona intensively, 13 of it even ventilated. "In terms of ventilation numbers, we have a clear and continuous increase," Renken regrets – a week ago, there were only four people who needed artificial ventilation.
This does not mean that the hospitals are reaching their performance limits. But the high number of quarantines and the need to care for children at home are having an increasing impact on the facilities. In the first clinics, the first wards had to be closed or closed down. are being merged because of a shortage of staff.
Infection clusters in seven hospitals and 23 care facilities
Corona is forcing new approaches: "Pauli", a UV-C disinfection robot, has recently been installed in the Outpatient Surgery Center at the St. Gallen Hospital.-Johannes Hospital to be encountered.
The additional infection incidence in the facilities does not make things any easier, although the outbreak incidence is comparatively small. What is striking for Renken, however, is the simultaneity: while in the past, the infection occurred in isolated houses, a large number of facilities are currently affected.
According to the Dortmund public health department, seven hospitals are currently affected – with four to 23 infected patients and staff. Also in 23 (!) Nursing facilities are currently experiencing clusters of Corona infections. The range of those affected is wide: between two and 35 infections are counted by the authority.
The health department does not differentiate between residents and patients. patients and staff.
For Renken, this is a consequence of the visiting regulations, which are no longer so restrictive. "We’ve only been able to keep up the restrictive visiting regime for one week," says the head of the health department. Unfortunately, the more frequent and increased incidence of infections is the result.
Due to the high infection numbers, there are also more deaths again
Photo: Alexander Volkel for Nordstadtblogger.de
The problem with Omikron: The variant is significantly more contagious than previous mutations, but the courses of the disease are mostly much milder. But due to the high number of infections, severe and fatal courses are not uncommon, even in absolute numbers.
This is a particular problem among the elderly over the age of 80, even though the incidence figures – measured against the current incidence of infections – are comparatively low. The seven-day incidence in the "over 80" group is 284. But that provides again strengthened for deadly exits.
Four more deaths linked to Covid-19 were reported to the health department yesterday. In Dortmund, 340 people have died from COVID-19, and another 128 patients infected with Corona have died from other causes.
"The course at Omikron is milder, but not completely harmless"
Mayor Thomas Westphal (SPD) Photo: Web screenshot
Therefore the city pleads also vehemently against it to consider further relaxations at all. "The course in Omikron is milder, but not completely harmless. And vaccination is the best protection", emphasizes OB Thomas Westphal. "Dropping all measures is not indicated," he emphasizes. Although he could understand that people are "getting tired of it". Especially parents of school-age children – currently 170 school classes are closed.
"A normal everyday life is no longer possible in this way – and absence from the workplace is also the insidious one in addition to infection," says Westphal, referring to the increasingly severe staff shortages, even in critical infrastructure.
"Two weeks ago we pointed out to the country that the numbers would lead to this. At that time I thought it was quite right to go into emergency care and change classes. This has not been followed. Now it no longer makes sense, the timing was missed," regrets the OB.
Because of the many unvaccinated, there can be no relaxations
Visualization: State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Also Dr. Frank Renken warns against allowing relaxations now. Steps like in Denmark are not advisable in Germany. Because the basic conditions are different. So Denmark has a much higher vaccination rate. "This is a significant difference and a relevant metric," says Renken. And how dangerous this attempt to loosen up is remains to be seen.
Renken attributes the responsibility for maintaining restrictive measures for so long to the still too large group of unvaccinated people: "We don’t close daycare centers and schools because the children are sick, but only because they have tested positive."
"Only a small part is sick. But there are no such serious courses that it is threatening. That’s why we have to face criticism as to why people are taking such brutal regulatory measures," says the head of the health department. "We are doing this to protect the adults. We have far too large a group of unvaccinated adults where we are at risk of the severe and fatal courses of disease."