For a few days now, Tirschenreuth has had an incidence value that other counties have been dreaming of.
Far below 100 - despite the proximity to the Czech border.
But District Administrator Roland Grillmeier also had the other extreme: the national maximum.
But the high number of infections from back then could be an advantage now.
- District Administrator Roland Grillmeier (CSU) sometimes notices that times have changed when he turns on the computer in the morning. There are many encouraging emails in his mailbox from citizens thanking him for the good pandemic management. “I received 100 friend requests on Facebook within a week,” he says. The mood in his Tirschenreuth district was not always so good. “It wasn't long ago that I received a lot of criticism for the high incidence values,” he says. That was in February, when Tirschenreuth had the highest 7-day incidence in Germany at 380. “Back then I was often told that I was doing everything wrong,” recalls Grillmeier.
For a few days, Tirschenreuth has been well below an incidence of 100, currently 75. The region is the only bright spot in Northern Bavaria on the Corona map. The approximately 4,500 children in the district are no longer taught by homeschooling, but are allowed to go back to school. Shopping is possible by making an appointment. And should it stay at the low numbers, Grillmeier wants to check the extent to which outdoor catering would also be possible again. He is cautiously optimistic. On the other hand, he's now watching the numbers long enough to know how quickly the situation could turn around again. "In a small county, all you need is one big outbreak in a school or in a company and the incidence quickly rises again by 60 or 70 points," he emphasizes. That's why he doesn't want to rush anything.
"At 30 percent, our vaccination quota is above the national average."
He is currently getting a lot of calls from other district administrators, reports Grillmeier.
“They want to know how we managed to get the numbers down that far.” His strategy is not very different from the measures that are being tried in other regions.
However, he started a little earlier.
As early as January, when the values in the Czech Republic soared to over 1000.
Due to the commuters, the virus mutation spread quickly, especially in the border region.
“At that time we approached our big companies, discussed common hygiene concepts and carried out over 20,000 tests,” he reports.
In addition, like the other border districts, Tirschenreuth received almost 5,000 additional doses of vaccine.
"At 30 percent, our vaccination quota is now well above the national average."
District Administrator Roland Grillmeier.
But that is only part of the explanation that Grillmeier has for the low number of infections in Tirschenreuth. The fact that a particularly large number of people were infected there last year and at the beginning of the year could now be an advantage. The results of a study have shown that herd immunity could be achieved in Tirschenreuth (we had reported). "For every person in whom corona was detected, there are about four in whom the infection was not discovered," he reports on the results of the study. As a result, the proportion of citizens who have antibodies in Tirschenreuth is very high. "Together with the vaccinations, this currently results in a high degree of immunization." In addition, there are still strict hygiene measures and tests. “The situation in the Czech Republic has also calmed down,” he says.The other counties in the border area would also feel this. They still have incidences over 100. “But they are not too far away from us any more,” emphasizes Grillmeier.
Outdoor catering as a ray of hope
The district administrator is not afraid that many citizens from other districts will now go to Tirschenreuth to shop.
“Our region is very rural.
The attraction is certainly not very great. ”If Tirschenreuth is actually the first region to allow outdoor catering again, that could of course change, admits the district administrator.
Therefore, he does not want to rush anything with this decision.
"This step would be a great ray of hope for our citizens," emphasizes Grillmeier.
"But there is also the risk that the numbers will rise again quickly."