Starting Monday, masks are no longer mandatory in school classrooms

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As of Monday, if there is one case of infection, teaching continues in the school, and from the second case onwards, education continues in the distance classes will be dropped.

Monday brings not only changed guidelines for class closures in the event of multiple cases of infection but also the return of compulsory attendance. In the regulation published on Friday, the mask obligation at schools is further relaxed: Mouth-nose protection or FFP2 mask (in the upper school) must only be worn outside the own class or group rooms.

Until two weeks ago, schools were required to wear masks at all times, given the high number of infections. Since February 14, elementary school students have only had to wear the show away from their seats, and this requirement applies at all schools as of this week. As of next week, this will now be further relaxed. The test regime – three tests per week, two of which are more meaningful PCR – remains.

Teachers‘ external persons (trainers of sports clubs, reading grannies) who are now permitted again must wear an FFP2 mask at all times while in the school building, and the 3-G rule (vaccinated, recovered, tested) also applies. As of March 5, vaccinated and rescued teachers and others will wear masks only in general parts of the school building.

At the same time, absenteeism from classes will be made more difficult; as of Monday, the compulsory attendance at schools, which had been suspended since the end of November, will apply again. Most recently, an excuse from parents was sufficient if students did not want to or could not attend classes for “reasons related to the Covid 19 pandemic.” Now, students who are members of a high-risk group or share a household with someone in the high-risk group will again have to provide a doctor’s note for absence.

There are also changes regarding class closures: Starting Monday, the rule will drop that if there is a case of infection in the class, classes will continue as normal (without the infected child), and if there is a second case of corona within three days, Distance Learning (for five days) will be ordered. The decision on how to proceed is then again solely up to the respective health authority in the state.

Risk levels for school operations eliminated

And the regulation also provides for changes in risk assessment: The risk levels for school operations, which were previously set by the Corona Commission every week and which provided for specific safety measures depending on the incidence of infection and utilization of the intensive care units, will be deleted. These are no longer a suitable means in the current phase of the pandemic, the Ministry of Education justifies. However, the Corona Commission will continue to advise the ministry on the “individual steps back to normality in the schools,” but on an ad hoc basis and not using fixed weekly risk classification.

One school and 687 classes are closed in Austria due to clustered Corona infection cases. The Ministry of Education’s two PCR tests detected 4,858 points this week. The highest numbers were in Lower Austria (1,676), followed by Tyrol (969), Salzburg (740), Carinthia (701), Vorarlberg (445), and Burgenland (327). In Upper Austria and Styria, students are on semester break this week.

In Vienna, where a different testing system than in the other provinces is used with “Alles gurgelt!”, Four thousand two hundred fifty-five students tested positive in the current week. Infection was also found in 353 teachers or others working in schools. This was communicated by the office of Education Councillor Christoph Wiederkehr (NEOS) to the APA.

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

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