Schools to start normal operations in autumn – tests using the gargle method

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In September 2021, schools should basically start in normal operation – if the Corona infection situation allows it, Education Minister Heinz Faßmann (ÖVP) stressed on Thursday according to parliamentary correspondence in the Education Committee of the National Council.

In suspected cases, schools are to be tested for the corona virus using the new gargle method.

The ministry is currently discussing various scenarios with experts. The most realistic scenario at the moment is the one with local corona outbreaks, according to Faßmann. The gargle method is currently being tested at schools in Vienna, for example.

Advantage: While taking a nasopharyngeal swab for the PCR test to detect the virus using cotton swabs through the nose is unpleasant, especially for children, the new method only requires gargling for about one minute. Samples from several students are combined into so-called pools. The individual samples are only analyzed if the combined test is positive.

Affected class in quarantine
Faßmann has repeatedly emphasized that the response to limited cases of infection (as is already the case) will be to quarantine the affected class, and in the case of several affected classes, possibly the entire school, and so on. In an emergency, there will again be shift operation or distance learning, he told the committee.

  • source: vienna.at/picture: pixabay.com
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