Due to the criticisms that the Tirolean health authorities did not take any or too late measures in connection with the coronavirus in the Ischgl case, a detailed chronology from March 5 to 13 from the perspective of the state of Tirol has been made available below, reports Snow Industry News. This chronology was also sent to the State Police Directorate in the course of the state prosecutor’s investigation. Every single detail mentioned can be substantiated by the health authorities with supporting documents. A class-action lawsuit has been launched against the area with over 2,500 people signing up.
- Related: UPDATE: 2,500 Coronavirus Victims Sign-Up for Class Action Lawsuit Against Austrian Ski Area
March 5: First information from Iceland – BH Landeck initiated surveys on the same day
The Tirolean health authorities were informed by the federal crisis team on March 5 that there could be connections between Icelanders who tested positive after their return to Iceland and their previous vacation in Ischgl. As a result, the Tirolean health authorities immediately asked for more details on these cases. Since the data on the Icelandic holiday guests suffering from COVID-19 was not available, BH Landeck, as the responsible health authority, ordered the personal data of all guests from Iceland, type of arrival and departure and the length of stay in Ischgl on 5 March to be collected in mid-February.
Of 90 people from Iceland, two received medical treatment – no connection with Corona.
The doctor based in Ischgl checked whether people from Iceland with flu-like symptoms had been treated. Of a total of 90 people recorded, only two received medical treatment in Ischgl. Both people were contacted; in both cases, there was no connection to COVID-19 disease. After the names of the affected holiday guests were still unknown on March 6 (morning), the local doctor was stopped by the responsible health authority to carry out a throat swab in all patients without exception, who was diagnosed with the clinical symptoms of an infection. This is due to the similarity of the symptoms of the influenza wave to a COVID-19 infection that had not yet subsided at this point in time.
March 6th: Contact person determination after the names and dates of the Icelandic holiday guests became known
In the afternoon of March 6, the police in Ischgl received the names and stay dates of the Icelandic holiday guests suffering from COVID-19. Based on this information, contacts in the hotels concerned were identified. Slight flu-like symptoms were found in only one of the people interviewed. This was immediately isolated and tested – it was negative.
March 7: German bartender first confirmed corona fall in Ischgl
In the course of the precautionary examination of patients with flu-like symptoms, a throat swab was carried out on March 7th in the morning on a person working in the service area of an après ski restaurant in Kitzloch. On the evening of the same day, the district administration Landeck was informed that the result of this person was positive. At that time, this was the first positive test result in Ischgl.
The Tirolean health authority has set stricter test standards than those set internationally and by the federal government!
It should be noted that with the procedure described above, the Tirolean health authority ordered additional measures that go beyond the usual requirements. According to the then-applicable federal regulations, testing was not intended in cases in which only flu-like symptoms were found without additional risk indicators (e.g. stay in a region in which new cases have already occurred). In Tirol, these tests were nevertheless carried out and the bartender of the Kitzloch was therefore tested positively.
On the same evening of March 7th: contact persons isolated in the Kitzloch, bar temporarily closed
On the same evening of March 7th, after the first positive test in Ischgl became known, surveys were immediately carried out to identify contact persons. Based on the information provided by the bartender concerned, 19 contact persons from the circle of work colleagues and holiday guests were identified and separated in the restaurant. The bar was also temporarily closed by the authorities, and orders were given to replace the entire workforce and to disinfect the bar.
March 8th: Testing of the contact persons, Kitzloch employees, and the bar disinfected
On Sunday, March 8, the contact persons were categorized in the morning according to the decree of the Federal Ministry and the recommendation of AGES, as well as the disinfection of the premises. A throat swab was performed on all contact persons. It was decided that until the test results were available, all employees, including the kitchen staff, would remain isolated. After the completion of these measures and after all employees had been replaced, it was initially possible to continue operating the bar with unaffected employees from Sunday evening. In addition, there was a public call from the state of Tirol that all people who were in Kitzloch from February 15 to March 7 and who have symptoms should report to the health hotline and have themselves tested.
March 9: The results of the tests were positive – immediate official closure of the Kitzloch
The results of the tests were available on Monday, March 9: 16 employees and contacts were tested positive. The affected apres ski restaurant was therefore closed with immediate effect on the same day with a notice from the Landeck district administration. All après-ski bars are closed and the winter season ended
Shortly afterward, the state of Tirol officially closed all après ski bars in Ischgl, and, a few days later, the winter tourist season was ended by officially closing all lifts and hotel businesses. Tirol was the first federal state in all of Austria to take such far-reaching steps. In addition, the entire Paznaun Valley was quarantined on March 13. Finally, on March 18, the state of Tirol issued a quarantine regulation for all 279 municipalities in Tirol.