This is where people in Germany are becoming infected with coronavirus

This is where people in Germany are becoming infected with coronavirus
A family head to the beach in Schleswig-Holstein earlier this month. Photo: DPA
Where are the most common spots for contracting Covid-19 in Germany? A new study by health officials sheds some light.

We all know there's a risk of picking up a coronavirus infection whenever we're around other people.

But where are the riskiest places? A new study by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control has investigated where people in Germany have been picking up the virus.

What are the results?

The study found private households and nursing homes are the spots where coronavirus occurs most often.

In an outbreak inside a home, there were on average 3.2 people infected at any one time. They are likely to be members of the same household or family.

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The RKI said outbreaks within families and the home environment “do not necessarily lead to many subsequent cases and only have a few cases per outbreak, but obviously occur very frequently”.

The second most frequent spot for outbreaks is nursing homes. “Living together often seems to lead to transmissions,” the RKI states.

In these facilities, an outbreak infected an average of almost 19 people at one time.

According to the study, the risk of infection is also particularly high in the case of an outbreak in a refugee home – an average of 21 cases were recorded per outbreak, more than anywhere else.

READ ALSO: These are Germany's new coronavirus hotspots

Schools and hotels not hotspots

The RKI study found schools do not play a large role in coronavirus infections – at least not so far. Researchers said there have been only 31 outbreaks and 150 infections so far in schools. However, this could become more of a problem now that more children are returning to the classroom after the summer holidays.

READ ALSO: School headteachers in German state sound alarm over 'unrealistic' coronavirus measures

Restaurants, hotels and offices have also been secondary locations so far. According to the RKI, outbreaks in trains and on other forms of public transport are difficult to identify.

Meanwhile, health officials provide a positive outlook for fans of the fresh air: the risk of infection outside is relatively low, “as suggested by the lack of outbreaks in zoos and animal parks” and with only three cases registered so far after picnics.

The RKI points out that the source of the infection has not been identified with complete certainty in all cases recorded so people should remain cautious wherever they are.

Researchers looked at more than 55,000 patients for the study – that's 27 percent of all reported cases in Germany.


Private households – (die) Privathaushalte

Old people's homes/retirement homes/nursing homes – (die) Altenheime

Refugee home – (das) Flüchtlingsheim

Fresh air – (die) Frischluft

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