Southern Germany authorities are tracking down people possibly infected with COVID-19 after a 26-year-old American woman awaiting her coronavirus results violated quarantine rules in the Alpine resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Officials were able to locate the deadly virus in three more individuals who frequented bars visited by the woman.
The trio of cases now brings the total number of recent infections in the town to 59, including 25 staff workers at a hotel resort where the woman worked that caters to U.S. military personnel.
Before an “all-clear” can be given to its residents, Anton Speer, head of the county administration, said that officials are still awaiting the results of nearly 300 tests conducted Monday. The three recent confirmed tests arose from 740 tests conducted over the weekend.
The outbreak in Garmisch-Partenkirchen was called “a model case of stupidity” by Bavaria’s governor Markus Soeder because the American woman exposed herself to numerous people despite having COVID-19 related symptoms and awaiting a test result.
Soeder said, “such recklessness must have consequences” and suggested the woman, who remains unidentified, could receive a hefty fine.
A preliminary investigation into the woman suspected of causing bodily harm has been opened, according to Andrea Mayer, a spokeswoman for prosecutors in Munich.
“The investigation is ongoing,” she told The Associated Press.
As a result of the outbreaks, bars and restaurants have a curfew of 10 p.m. and a rule that no more than five people can gather in public. “The Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, which is reserved for members of the American military, their families and veterans, has also shut down completely for two weeks,” according to NBC News.
The U.S. military has opened its investigation into the matter and recommends any active members or individuals who had contact with the Edelweiss employee be tested for COVID-19.
The Army stated that any breach of military or Bavarian COVID-19 regulations “would not be in keeping with our conduct and efforts and keep our communities safe.”
“We are currently gathering the facts associated with this incident, as are our Bavarian hosts,” the Army said. “U.S. civilian employees are subject to Bavarian ordinances on prevention of infectious diseases, just as any German citizen.”