New Omicron sub-variant: The red alert returns in the Canton of Lucerne
For the first time since mid-March, the incidence is increasing again. According to the Ministry of Health and Sport, however, this is not a reason to take additional measures.
The red stripes are marked in the Covid-19 Situation Report for the Canton of Lucerne: The “Red Alert Level” is in effect again from the beginning of the month. Within a week, the number of confirmed cases increased by more than 80 percent. This is due to the new sub-variant BA.5 from Omikron, according to the Health and Sports department (Dige) on request. The mutation is now causing an increasing number of cases across Europe.
Since the federal government lifted the special situation in April, the cantons are once again responsible for fighting the pandemic. Based on the country’s development, the Lucerne government council abrogated the cantonal ordinance shortly afterwards. From then on, it was up to Dige to assess the epidemiological situation.
The alert level concept is no longer relevant
The canton’s situational report and its categorization by alert level are based on the seven-day incidence and percentage of case development over the past seven days. Figures that have not been in negative territory since mid-March as long as they are now.
According to Dige, this is not a reason for additional action: “The alarm concept dates back to the beginning of the pandemic, when vaccination was not yet complete and another virus variant was in circulation.” According to David Dürr, ward manager, the number of hospitalized patients and the number of ventilated Covid patients in the intensive care unit are more significant.
Hospital admissions comparable to last year’s
Hospitalizations also increase with the number of cases, but are at a low level. As of today, ten people with Covid-19 are hospitalized in Lucerne hospitals, no one needs to be ventilated. The numbers are therefore in a similar range as last summer.
If they rise sharply, the office will coordinate all activities with the other cantons of Central Switzerland and the federal government. But:
“That doesn’t mean companies can’t take action early on their own.”
Cantonal Hospital is prepared for the potential next wave: if the situation worsens, sufficient resources are available for areas not covered by Covid and Covid, Michael Döring, Welfare and Social Affairs manager, told the media in May.
A possible next wave is being prepared
There is no need to operate at the test centers as test numbers are currently only 20 to 30 percent of those at the top: “We are seeing an increase in testing, but no infrastructure expansion is necessary for now,” says Dürr. The capacity has been reduced, but can be changed at any time.
Crown cases are increasing in the Canton of Lucerne. However, no additional measures are being taken at the moment.
Photo: Patrick Huerlimann
(Lucerne, May 5, 2021)
The number of contact tracing staff has also been reduced. As the isolation obligation is lifted, the team focuses more and more on the future. Dürr: “As far as human resources allow, we trace back, document and improve processes.”
To be prepared for a possible escalation, the canton is also developing various vaccination scenarios. For example, you can imagine different options about which population groups to vaccinate.