Pupils and Students to be tested once a week

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Education Minister Heinz Faßmann announced at a press conference on Saturday that schools will receive five million free Corona self-tests starting January 18. The new “anterio-nasal tests” will allow a simple swab in the front of the nose. Students and teachers are to have the opportunity to take this test once a week on a voluntary basis. It is not yet clear when schools will return to face-to-face instruction.

Simple self-tests
The new test works quite simple and is also not painful due to the removal in the front nose area: After the removal, the swab in a folding box is sprinkled with a liquid, the box is then folded shut. Within a few minutes, the result then appears on the front. If the result is positive, the health authorities must be notified and a PCR test performed. The goal in the future is to have the option of weekly testing. “Monday is test day,” Faßmann said.

Elementary school pupils should take the test kits at home and perform the tests together with their parents. Starting in lower school or middle school, children and adolescents will receive instruction at school on how to handle the test, for example, through videos or trained personnel such as school physicians. From the second run, they then receive the tests to take home with them. But they can also be administered as a kind of “social event” at school, Faßmann said. By the end of January, the entire five million tests should be delivered – the ministry will pay 2.70 euros per test.

Voluntary participation
Participation is voluntary. Children under 14 need a declaration of consent from their parents – if this is not available, they will not receive a test. The tests can be disposed of in the residual waste. Participation does not exempt them from wearing mouth-nose protection at school.

Also clarified is the classification of educators in the order of vaccinations: They fall into phase two and are scheduled to receive the vaccine in late February or early March. There will be no mandatory vaccination for educators.

  • Sources: Press Conference of the Education Minister via orf/oe24.at/picture: pixabay.com
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