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GERMANY

MAPS: Where in Germany are the Covid-19 hotspots right now?

Coronavirus cases are going up around Germany, with infections spiking in some areas. Through maps and graphs, take a look at which regions are the most affected.

MAPS: Where in Germany are the Covid-19 hotspots right now?
Berlin's U-Bahn on October 6th. The district of Neukölln is now one of the RKI's coronavirus hotspots. Photo: DPA

On Thursday, Germany reported 4,000 new coronavirus cases across the country – the highest number since April. 

The “worrying jump” means that people in Germany should not let their guard down, said Health Minister Jens Spahn in response to the new figures.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus cases top 4,000 a day for first time since April

We take a look at where in Germany is impacted – from the districts of Berlin to smaller towns which have suddenly become hotspots.

The following map breaks down the number of new infections per 100,000 for inhabitants in the last seven days for various districts around Germany and hotspot Berlin. (Credit: DPA)

The following interactive map breaks down the number of overall cases per German state, the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and the total number of deaths. View larger map. Credit: ESRI


This interactive graph from Germany's Robert Koch Institute (last updated October 8th) breaks down the total number of cases district by district in Germany, including the number per 100,000 inhabitants, and the number of cases over the last seven days. It also gives you the total number of residents to put the figures in perspective.

These were the number of new coronavirus cases which were registered per German state on Wednesday.

The city of Hagen, a coronavirus hotspot in Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, created a graph to show the number of new cases per day.

The following map breaks down the total number of coronavirus cases per German state, as well as total number of deaths in parenthesis, since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. (Credit: DPA)

READ ALSO:

The following map breaks down the total number of new infections across Germany per day since March 28th. (Credit: DPA)

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HEALTH

EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

Due to high Covid infection numbers throughout the summer, it’s now possible to get a sick note from a doctor over the phone again for some illnesses. Here’s what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

What’s happened?

In spring 2020, German authorities changed the law so that people with a mild upper respiratory tract illness, such as the common cold, were able to get an incapacity to work certificate or AU-Bescheinigung by simply calling and speaking to their GP.

The rule was extended several times and finally reversed on June 1st this year due to falling infection figures. Since then people have had to go back to the practice – or do a video call if the doctor’s office has that system in place – to get a sick note.

Now, due to a decision by the Joint Federal Committee, the regulation has been reintroduced and patients can call their GP again for a sick note.

Can I get a sick note over the phone for any illness?

No. As before, the regulation only applies to patients suffering from a mild upper respiratory tract illness. Though Covid has not explicitly been named in the announcement, it seems that it is intended to be covered by the regulation.

If the doctor is convinced that the patient is unfit for work after a telephone consultation, then they can issue a sick note for up to seven days.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The changes around doctor’s notes in Germany you should know

If the symptoms persist after seven days, the certificate can be extended once more for another week.

Why now?

According to the Chairman of the G-BA, Josef Hecken, the regulation has been introduced now as a response to rising Covid numbers and in anticipation of the cold and flu season in the coming months: “We want to avoid full waiting rooms in doctors’ offices and the emergence of new infection chains,” he said.

The telephone sick leave rule is a simple, proven and uniform nationwide solution for that, he said. The rule is also necessary because video consultation hours are not yet available everywhere.

What else should I know?

The health insurer DAK is calling for telephone sick leave in the case of light respiratory diseases to be made possible on a permanent basis in Germany. DAK’s CEO Andreas Storm said that this should “not always be up for debate, because it has proven itself.” 

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about making a doctor’s appointment in Germany

The social association VdK also welcomed the reintroduction of the rule. The VdK’s President Verena Bentele said that the regulation would help to protect high-risk groups in particular from potential infections.

What are the rules to know about sick notes in Germany?

Germany has a strict system in place. If you are sick, you need to give your employer a Krankmeldung (notification of sickness) before the start of work on the first day (of your illness).

However, you also need to hand in a Krankschreibung (doctor’s note) on the fourth day of your illness. Some employments contracts, however, require you to submit a sick not earlier than the fourth day so check with your boss or HR on that point. 

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