The latest corona state for Berlin (tallied Wednesday, 10 February)
New cases in one day: +546 (302 Tuesday)
Total number of corona deaths: 2,556 (+50 over Tuesday)
🟢 R number: 0.75 (0.82 Tuesday)
🔴 New infections per week: 64.4/100,000 inhabitants (64.9 Tuesday)
🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 24.6 per cent (24.8 per cent Tuesday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
The lowdown ...
Schools to begin re-opening 22 February
Chancellor Merkel and the heads of Germany's 16 states Wednesday extended the lockdown to 7 March with the bizarre decision to open hair salons 1 March (the usual corona restrictions will apply). Everything else can gradually begin opening when the national incidence drops below 35.
The group said states themselves can decide how best to reopen daycares and schools beginning 15 February. Berlin will begin gradually reopening the city's schools 22 February, starting with daycares and primary schools, in keeping with a previously devised plan.
Querdenker causing outbreaks
November protests in Leipzig and Berlin by opponents of the corona restrictions – known colloquially as Querdenker (lateral thinkers) – led to significant jumps in corona infections. Berlin's Humboldt University and the Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung looked at incidence rates in the counties where protestors travelled from and discovered that incidence rates rose there by an average of 40 by the end of December. That translates to between 16,000 and 21,000 cases.
A handball crowd, sort of
The Füchse, Berlin's professional handball team, is accepting applications for 120 fans to virtually attend their 21 February match against the Rhein-Neckar Löwen. The fans will be visible to players in the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Prenzlauer Berg on LED screens placed on seats. It's the first time a team in Germany's handball league has tried the virtual crowd – a similar move proved popular with the NBA in the US last year.
In case you missed it ....
Tegel may be closed but it still has a place in the heart of many a Berliner. An auction of much of its interior decorations runs through tomorrow.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team