Next week, the last regular mandatory PCR tests for the coronavirus will take place at schools for the time being.
Mandatory masking at universities and schools remains in place
About one month before the end of school, the PCR testing program, which has been running in various forms since the beginning of the school year, will thus come to an end. After Pentecost, antigen testing will only be used as needed when otherwise identified infections occur in a class. In Vienna, testing can continue on a limited voluntary basis.
Last week of Corona PCR testing in Austrian schools for the time being
Regular PCR testing started in September. At that time, at least one PCR test per week (in addition to two antigen tests) was mandatory. Later, two PCR tests per week (in addition to one antigen test) became compulsory, although the changeover was slow due to problems with the test provider. After Easter, the switch back to one PCR test was made, with antigen tests only being used on an ad hoc basis (i.e., when infections were detected in the classroom).
In Vienna, PCR tests were increasingly used from September onwards.
One exception was Vienna, where PCR tests were increasingly used from September onwards, and a different test system, “Alles gurgelt” (everything gurgles), was used (initially only from middle school/lower secondary school, later also at elementary schools). As a result, more PCR testing (and less antigen testing) was conducted in the federal capital.
Last PCR tests at schools on different days depending on the federal state
On Monday, students in Lower Austria and Burgenland will now test for the last time, followed on Tuesday by their colleagues in Carinthia, Salzburg, Tyrol, and Vorarlberg, and on Wednesday by Upper Austria and Styria. Vienna depends on the respective school when the mandatory “graduation gargle” will occur.
Vienna takes a unique approach to Coronatests at schools.
The federal capital goes a particular way afterward: The throw-in boxes at the schools will be available further. This has been announced by health city councilor Peter Hacker (SPÖ) in the conversation with the APA. The usual collection regime will also remain in place. Pupils can thus continue to hand in their “Alles Gurgelt” tests at school voluntarily.
Only five PCR samples per person per month will be evaluated.
However – according to the federal regulation – only five pieces per month will be considered. Only in the case of tests ordered by the authorities, for example, in suspicious circumstances, can testing exceed this quota. Hacker made no secret that he would have liked to keep the school tests in their current form. The game rules have been changed out of thin air, he criticized.
Hacker: “It doesn‘t hurt to protect our kids a little.”
“It doesn’t hurt to protect our kids a little bit,” Hacker said. Screening at school, he said, provided a good overview of the incidence of infection. He indicated that there are 200 schools in Vienna with disease cases. It is also completely open to how things will proceed in the fall. The Minister of Health is heading into a “smokescreen” he warned of a problematic situation at the beginning of the school year.
784 Corona infections detected at schools throughout Austria
In this week’s round of testing, 784 conditions were seen in schoolchildren across Austria. This is significantly less than the previous week’s figure of around 1,350 – before that, the numbers had only declined to a much lesser extent. There had been up to 20,000 positive school PCR tests per week in March (albeit with two test runs).
A restart of school tests from September is still unclear
It is not yet clear whether and to what extent testing will resume in September. This depends on the infection situation, said Education Minister Martin Polaschek (ÖVP) at the beginning of the week. They have already been advertised with this restriction.
- sources: APA/vienna.at/picture: pixabay.com
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