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Edelweiss to close for two weeks after getting blame for virus spread in Garmisch

The exterior of the Edelweiss Lodge in Garmisch, Germany, is adorned with three murals that tell the story of the Edelweiss flower, which in the Bavarian Alps is known as a legendary elixir of love.

STARS AND STRIPES

By JOHN VANDIVER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 12, 2020

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STUTTGART, Germany — The U.S. military’s hotel in the Bavarian resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirschen will be closed starting Monday after a coronavirus-infected American staying there sparked a wider outbreak following a night of bar hopping, German and U.S. military officials said.

The 26-year-old woman, who had virus symptoms, visited multiple bars on Tuesday, infecting numerous people and prompting Garmisch on Friday to shut down nightlife establishments, district officials told Germany’s Bild newspaper.

U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria on Friday confirmed that it has experienced an outbreak inside the hotel, which will close Monday for at least two weeks as a precaution.

“The facility is working with U.S. Army medical professionals and local medical officials to assess the situation and conduct contact tracing,” the garrison said in a statement.

Several staff members have tested positive for the virus, the garrison said.

Edelweiss said anyone who has visited the resort since Sept. 3 should self-monitor for any symptoms and seek medical care if any develop.

The Army’s statement did not address the American accused of being responsible for a wider outbreak in Garmisch. On Saturday, the garrison also declined to comment on the status of the American or whether she had tested positive before going out.

Bild reported that 33 people on Friday tested positive for the virus in Garmisch and that those infections were linked to contact with the one American. Bild also reported that there were another 23 infections connected to Edelweiss.

Beginning Saturday, Garmisch will impose a one-week limit on gatherings at restaurants, which now must close by 10 pm. With a maximum of five guests at a table. Also, no more than five people can meet as a group in public places.

Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, about 50 miles from Munich, is a popular vacation destination for military personnel based in Germany.

vandiver.john@stripes.com
Twitter: @john_vandiver