Berlin nightclubs take part in COVID-19 pilot project
About 2,000 residents in Berlin were welcomed at a handful of nightclubs in the German capital over the weekend as part of a COVID-19 pilot project.
The project, dubbed “Clubculture Reboot,” aims to see whether COVID-19 testing can allow nightlife venues to remain open, Reuters reported.
Officials and scientists involved in the project, which was launched by Charité hospital scientists and the city’s Ministry of Cultures, hope the study will guide the city on how to avoid a spike in new cases while safely reopening those venues.
Over the weekend, Berlin clubbers had to show the six venues participating in the study that they had returned a negative COVID-19 PCR test on Friday, which health officials consider to be a reliable form of COVID-19 testing.
If participants receive a followup PCR test later on Friday, they’ll also receive some money as an added bonus.
Germany’s COVID-19 cases have been relatively controlled in July and early August, with the country reporting 3,448 confirmed cases on Friday, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Though the country has seen a mild uptick of new cases since late July, deaths have remained in the low double digits.
Roughly 55 percent of Germany’s population is fully vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Concerns over how to safely reopen – or keep open – public facilities and businesses amid a growing surge of new cases along with the spread of the delta variant and others are at the forefront of health officials’ minds in a number of countries.
In the U.S., cities and businesses are grappling with mask mandates, whether or not to make vaccines mandatory for certain workers and when employees should be returning to the office.
Health officials who hoped that the coronavirus could be better managed following the nation’s vaccine rollout earlier this year have seen lower vaccination rates in certain states and an increase of COVID-19 cases complicate mitigation efforts.
President Biden’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci estimated last week that the U.S. could see up to 200,000 daily new cases of COVID-19 in the fall.
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