The measures in force in the canton of Berne to contain the coronavirus will remain in force until 7 December 2020. This was decided by the cantonal government on the basis of epidemiological developments and the still high number of cases. The government hopes that in two to three weeks it will be able to relax measures to the federal level and thus give the population a perspective.
On 23 October, the cantonal government introduced restrictive measures to contain the coronavirus. Yesterday, they decided to continue these measures until 7 December 2020.
Case numbers still at a high level
The cantonal government's decision was based on the situation in the hospitals and the epidemiological development in recent weeks. "The sharp increase in the number of cases observed since the beginning of October, with doubling times of less than a week in some cases, reached a peak at the beginning of November," writes the cantonal government. On a seven-day average, over 700 cases were recorded in the canton of Bern. This figure has now fallen to a weekly average of around 450 cases per day.
The occupancy rate of Bern's hospital beds reached its peak so far on 9 November with a good 400 patients. Since then, hospital occupancy has remained relatively constant, with the number of ventilators in use continuing to rise.
Overall, there has been neither an aggravation nor a relaxation of the situation. However, the aim is still to reduce the number of cases significantly. For this reason, the cantonal government is maintaining the existing measures, but at the same time is refraining from tightening them.
The cantonal government appeals to the population to adhere strictly to the rules and to reduce personal contacts as much as possible: "The population can contribute significantly to easing the situation and to a gradual return to normality." In addition, more corona tests are to be carried out again, after the number of tests has recently decreased.
The cantonal government is impressed by the large and reliable effort that is being made, especially in the care sector and in schools, but also by the population as a whole. It is exhausting and challenging to work or learn all day long with the tightened protective measures in these difficult times. "The fact that the measures are reliably implemented in schools, the care and the service sector and many other areas contributes significantly to the gradual reduction in the number of cases and helps to ensure that schools can remain open," the cantonal government notes and thanks for this valuable commitment.
First easing of measures after 7 December?
The cantonal government will reassess the situation in a fortnight's time. They hope that the development of bed occupancy in the hospitals, the number of cases and other indicators will allow certain measures to be eased in the direction of the federal ordinance in view of the holidays.
The cantonal government is aware that the corona situation is not only an economic burden for broad sections of the population, but also a psychological burden. "The easing of the situation after 7 December 2020 is intended to give people the prospect of a bit of normality," says the cantonal government.
Based on AvS/Anita Moser