Local infection number in Germany drops below critical mark after outbreak at slaughterhouse

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BERLIN, July 7 (Xinhua) — Following a COVID-19 outbreak at Germany’s largest meat processing company Toennies, the number of new infections in the district Guetersloh fell below the critical mark, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said Tuesday.

The seven-day incidence stood at 35 in the Guetersloh district in Germany’s federal state North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on Tuesday, “well below” the critical mark of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the RKI.

Shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak at Toennies in mid-June, the seven-day incidence in the district had peaked at 270, according to the RKI. Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s federal states had agreed that above the threshold of 50, regional restrictions to protect the population would become necessary.

The outbreak at the slaughterhouse left around 1,500 employees infected and strict contact restrictions had been reimposed in Guetersloh and neighboring districts.

On Monday, the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia (OVG) “temporarily suspended” the reimposed restrictions in the Guetersloh district, saying that the measures were no longer appropriate.

District administrator Sven-Georg Adenauer said on Monday that he was “happy for the citizens of the entire district of Guetersloh. Hopefully the time of stigmatization is over now.” Enditem

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