German cops are considering criminal charges against an American woman that went out partying despite being told to go into quarantine and caused a spike in infections in a small German town that is now partially locked down.
The woman is already facing a hefty fine after partying in several bars with COVID-19 symptoms, instead of isolating as she had been told and being blamed for and triggering a local outbreak.
The Alpine resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the German state of Bavaria, reported a spike in cases after the unnamed woman visited several pubs while showing symptoms last week.
The state reported 37 new cases on Saturday, bringing the seven-day total up to 54.
Twenty-four cases were reported in the hotel where the woman works.
The 26-year-old US citizen was still awaiting the results of her COVID-19 test after showing symptoms and was told to quarantine but instead went out on the alleged pub crawl during the week.
People found guilty of breaching quarantine violations in Bavaria risk a fine of up to 2,000 EUR (1841 GBP).
The US Army-owned Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, where the woman lives and works as a US civilian employee, has since been closed for the next fortnight.
US Army Garrison Bavaria has also placed 70 hotel staff in isolation while military medics work with local authorities.
The District Administrator’s Office has also imposed new restrictions on the town, where around 26,000 people live, to control the outbreak following an emergency meeting on Friday evening.
Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann threatened to make an example of the alleged spreader.
He told the Munchner Merkur: “If it is confirmed that the woman has deliberately ignored quarantining despite clear symptoms, she must expect a heavy fine.
“A cautionary example should be set for anyone who violates the rules in this particular situation of the pandemic, and anyone who deliberately puts others in danger must expect severe sanctions.”
City official Stephan Scharf told German news site DPA: “The lady had symptoms, came to the test station and was told to stay in quarantine because of her symptoms, but she did not do so.
“We do not know where she caught it.
“There are often cases where people don’t wait for the test result.
“Nationality does not really matter, but we wanted as many people as possible to come forward who remember being in contact with the woman in a pub in the last few days.”
Speaking to Newsflash, a local police spokesman in the town said that the breach covered new ground on what was legal and what was not, but, added that they were investigating whether or not she should face criminal charges and that a report was being prepared for consideration. It will also depend on whether anybody is severely injured or even killed as a result of an infection that can be linked back to the woman.
It is also possible that local businesses that lost out through the closure might demand compensation from the woman, but police said that would be a private matter.
All restaurants in the town must now close at 10 pm and a maximum of only five people are allowed to meet in public, a measure that also applies to restaurants.
The number of participants in private events is now limited to a maximum of 50 people in closed venues or up to 100 people outside.
A District Administrator’s Office spokesman said: “We want to shut down the nightlife as that was the trigger”.
Results for 700 new tests taken over the weekend are expected on Monday, with officials warning that the numbers are highly likely to grow.
It is unclear if the American woman will face further punishment for negligent bodily harm or damages.
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Story By: Les Steed, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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