An American coronavirus super-spreader is believed to have infected more than 20 people after ignoring quarantine rules to go on a bar crawl in Germany.
The 26-year-old woman, who has not been identified, worked at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen for US forces stationed in Germany when she started showing signs of the coronavirus.
Stephan Scharf, spokesman for the Garmisch-Partenkirchen district, said the woman was asked to go into quarantine after presenting coronavirus symptoms and tested in the town on September 8.
However she allegedly ignored the requests and, according to local media, went on a bar hop including to an Irish pub and a cocktail bar where a karaoke party was taking place.
The following morning she was informed she had tested positive for coronavirus.
Der Tagesspieggel reported at least 24 people at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort were infected and local administrator Anton Speer told Bild she had infected at least 22 Americans.
“It is a Herculean task to trace all of the contacts,” he said.
“I'm upset with the young woman. Despite symptoms and quarantine, she plunged into nightlife.”
As of Sunday (local time), there were 59 active cases in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and on September 11 the ski resort said all restaurants must cease daily operations at 10pm for seven days as a result of rising infections.
People are only allowed to mingle in groups of five in public spaces and only 50 people can be in an enclosed space, and 100 in an outdoor space at any one time.
Investigators are tracking the woman's movements around the Alpine town and local authorities have tracked down more than 30 people they suspect may have become infected from the same source.
The Edelweiss Lodge and Resort hotel has closed for two weeks after several staff members tested positive.
A robust health care system and widespread testing has helped Germany record fewer fatalities linked to COVID-19 than many other European countries. Cases have been on the rise recently, with 1,923 new infections recorded on Monday.
In January, authorities jumped on an outbreak at a car parts supplier in Bavaria and contained it, buying Germany crucial time to build its COVID-19 defences.
Bavaria Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told local media there should be serious consequences for the woman.
“If it is confirmed that the woman despite having clear coronavirus symptoms refused to go into quarantine, she will face a hefty fine,” Nr Herrmann said.
“Such recklessness should be clearly admonished.”
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