A coronavirus “superspreader” who went on a pub crawl despite being told to self-isolate has been blamed for an outbreak of almost 40 cases, say officials.
The “careless” 26-year-old American woman, who works at a hotel for US soldiers and their families in the German Alps, came down with “clear” Covid-19 symptoms after returning from a trip to Greece.
After suffering from a sore throat, she was tested for the virus and told to quarantine for 14 days, but she “ignored” the order and went out partying the next night with colleagues, said officials in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
She visited a number of bars and restaurants in Garmisch, including a karaoke night, and is alleged to be responsible for a wave of infections.
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The Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, where the woman works, is closed for two weeks after several workers tested positive for the virus, and the woman could now face a significant fine.
Bavarian state officials blamed the 26-year-old American woman after 37 new cases of coronavirus were detected in Garmisch-Partenkirschen, near Germany’s border with Austria, in one day.
At least 24 people at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort are infected, Der Tagesspieggel reported.
Markus Söder, president of Bavaria, told reporters the outbreak shows how much “carelessness and irrationality endanger others”.
“A very high fine” could be levied against the woman, he added.
The current penalty for ignoring the quarantine is €2,000 (£1,840).
Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the woman was “reckless” and officials should make an example out of her to send a message to others who find themselves in quarantine.
The resort’s seven-day rolling rate of new infections is now 50 per 100,000 people.
Officials said the hotel worker was ordered to self-isolate for two weeks when she was tested for Covid-19 on September 7.
But she went out on the night of September 8, with stops at an Irish pub and a cocktail bar that was hosting a karaoke night.
This started a wave of infections in the resort, said officials.
Stephan Scharf, a spokesman for the resort, said: “The woman had symptoms and went to a testing station, and she was asked to remain in quarantine because of her symptoms.
“But she didn’t do that.”
He said an investigation was underway. It was unknown whether she caught the virus in the Alpine resort or during her trip to Greece.
Located about 50 miles south-west of Munich, the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort is owned by the US Department of Defence and used exclusively by service members and their families.
The US has several military sites scattered around Germany.
The hotel said in a statement: “Several staff members of the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort have tested positive for Covid-19.
“As a precaution, additional staff members who had prolonged, direct contact with the positive staff members have also been quarantined.
“The facility is working with US Army medical professionals and local medical officials to assess the situation and conduct contact tracing.
“Due to the number of staff members affected, the decision has been made to close the resort for two weeks beginning Monday, September 14.
“The health, safety and welfare of the resorts guests, staff and the surrounding community are a top priority for the organisation.
“Military leaders are keeping local organisations and host nation officials informed.
“Anyone who has visited the resort since September 3 should monitor for any symptoms and seek medical care if symptoms develop.”
Mirror Online has contacted the 26-year-old woman for comment.