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Corona: City of Bonn continues to rely on proper ventilation of classrooms

Shock and cross ventilation is the most important and effective measure for improving air quality in classrooms. The Federal City of Bonn will stick to this position when some of the students in North Rhine-Westphalia return to face-to-face classes at schools from Monday, February 22, 2021.

At the municipal schools in Bonn, around 4,000 rooms are used for classes. In these classes, ventilation should take place at 20-minute intervals and for five minutes after each lesson. Windows are to be opened wide and, if possible, cross-ventilation is to take place; that is, opposite windows are to be opened wide at the same time.

"The discussion about ventilation devices and air purification devices has been heated in some cases for months, and that is understandable and comprehensible, because it is about nothing less than the protection of health," says Mayor Katja Dörner. "The city of Bonn has had a clear stance on this for months, and we feel repeatedly reinforced in this by the scientific community. In addition to all other hygiene measures, ventilation with fresh air has top priority and the greatest effect according to all findings."

The city is also supported in its stance by Professor Martin Exner, former director of the Institute for Hygiene and Public Health at Bonn University Hospital, who as a member of the city's crisis team is advising the city of Bonn on the Corona pandemic: "The recommendation of the Federal Environment Agency is clear: fresh air is the best protection against possible infection via indoor air, as it is virtually virus-free. Whether the performance of mobile air purification devices, which are available with various technologies, is sufficient to prevent infection, on the other hand, is currently not certain. Ventilation also lowers the CO2 concentration in the room, which significantly increases students' alertness. It is also clear from much of the data we now have that the classic AHA rules, and in particular a tight-fitting - preferably medical - mask, offer a high level of protection. The important thing is to adhere to these consistently," says Exner.

As early as 2020, the city administration walked through all schools and checked whether sufficient ventilation was provided. With the exception of four rooms at Friedrich-List-Berufskolleg, where ventilation equipment has been installed, this has been ensured. In addition, the city administration provided the schools with an information paper on corona-compliant ventilation in everyday school life last fall.

Random test procedure at selected elementary schools

Mayor Katja Dörner announced a random test procedure, with which the city wants to get a picture of how the infection incidence develops after the resumption of classes in the elementary schools. Further measures will be based on these findings.

The city will develop a concept for the random test procedure to detect SARS-CoV-2 in teachers and elementary school students in the near future. The city's goal is to get at least one elementary school per city district on board, as well as at least one special school. The city will announce further details shortly.

Corona incidence value is 65.2

As of Friday, February 19, 2021, the Corona incidence value has risen to 65.2 based on 100,000 residents. In the past seven days, 215 new Covid 19 infections were reported.

The city attributes the increase in the incidence value to acute infections in two senior citizen facilities in Bonn. There, a total of 45 residents and staff tested positive for the virus during a series of tests. Of these, 28 positive results were newly included in the statistics within one day; the others were already included in the incidence value of the previous days. The tests were initiated after a rapid test showed a positive result in each case. All infected persons have so far shown mild courses of disease. Presumably, the infection occurred between the first and second corona vaccination. 

In total, the health department registered 9,199 confirmed Corona cases since February 28, 2020. While 8719 people have since recovered, 302 citizens are currently infected. 178 people have died in association with the corona virus. The two most recent deaths are a 53-year-old (no information on pre-existing conditions is available) and a 69-year-old (he had pre-existing conditions). 650 people are currently in quarantine.

As of February 19, the health department has registered a total of 63 cases of coronavirus mutations (62 times the British variant, 1 time the Brazilian variant) since January 28, 2021. Out of a total of 669 SARS-CoV-2 cases during this period, this represents a rate of 9.4 percent. Currently, there are 37 cases with the British variant and one case with the Brazilian variant.

Bonn hospitals currently have 69 people from Bonn and the surrounding area who have Covid-19. 44 patients are being cared for in normal wards, 25 people are in intensive care units, 20 of whom require ventilation.

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