The latest corona stats for Berlin (compiled Thursday, 5 August)

Berliners vaccinated with one vaccine dose: 61.3 per cent (61.1 per cent Wednesday)

Berliners fully vaccinated: 52.1 per cent (51.7 per cent Wednesday)

New cases in one day: 307 (270 Wednesday)

Total number of corona deaths: 3,585 (2)

🔴 7-day incidence rate - new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week: 32.7 (29.5 Wednesday)

*Light shifted to red, which previously meant new restrictions would be required

🟡 Development of the 7-day incidence rate over the past week: +18 per cent (+10 per cent Wednesday)

🟢 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 3.7 per cent (3.7 per cent Wednesday)

Source: Berlin's corona information page.

Back to school, for now

Berlin schools will reopen Monday with in-person teaching though kids and teachers will be tested three times a week for the first three weeks. Everyone will be required to wear surgical masks when indoors for the first two weeks and mobile vaccination teams will roam secondary schools, though parental permission is required for anyone under 18. Hybrid classes and even closures are a possibility depending on the development of the pandemic. School is back but it all feels very tentative.

Billions for testing

Germany has shelled out a total €3.7b for corona tests in centres, including €1.1b for quick tests, according to the Rheinische Post. Officially people were allowed one free test at a centre per week but Berlin lifted the restriction to encourage a return to near-normalcy. Journalists uncovered widespread fraud in the programme - providers billing for tests they didn't perform - but the federal government has said it wants to stop paying for tests in October, when everyone could be vaccinated.

Ikea as a vaccination centre

Vaccinations are now available at two additional Berlin Ikea outlets following the success of a pop-up centre in the parking lot of Ikea in Lichtenberg, which has already doled out 6,100 doses (4,300 Moderna, 1,800 Johnson & Johnson) since starting in mid-July. The same vaccines are now on offer at the Tempelhof and Spandau Ikeas from 10am to 7.30pm (though not on Sundays). 

From the archive...

You may soon find yourself on a cargo tram.

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