Because of Omikron: Already 1,800 school classes in distance learning

Some experts still believe that school closures will be inevitable.

© APA

This is a doubling compared to the start of the week. However, no location is currently completely closed.

At Austrian schools, around 1,800 classes are now in distance learning due to frequent corona infections. According to the Ministry of Education, however, not a single location is currently completely closed, it said on APA-Inquiry. It is now also clear that only one PCR test will be carried out outside of Vienna next week. The ministry therefore wants to “fully assert all claims relating to penalty payments, damages, etc.”.

The 1,800 closed classes are roughly twice as many as at the beginning of the week. Since Wednesday, however, there has only been an increase of 300 classes. Currently, in one case, face-to-face teaching continues in one class, but the remaining children then have to be tested daily for five days. If another corona case occurs in this class within three days, distance learning will be used.

“Low Number not understandable”

Actually, two PCR tests should be carried out weekly since the current week. Due to IT problems at the test provider ARGE for molecular diagnostics, there were already large-scale problems with the school PCR tests last week. The ARGE, which took over the execution of the tests in eight federal states (except Vienna) after a new tender after the Christmas holidays, had to contend with technical problems when evaluating the results – especially when assigning and evaluating them in the database. The result, according to the ministry: “An incomprehensibly low number of positive cases” and “late, incorrect and incomplete” data transmission.

Therefore, only one PCR test was carried out this week. Nevertheless, there were still problems and unevaluated tests on Monday. Only when fewer tests had to be carried out per day due to a reorganization of the test days were all the results sent to the schools in good time. “The originally difficult situation has eased significantly, the error rate has been significantly reduced,” emphasized the ARGE. We continue to work on “optimizing data management”. Therefore, next week you will only test once. A total of around 1,400 positive school tests were registered this week in the eight federal states, which is 0.23 percent of the tests evaluated.

Vienna is testing more PCR

In the coming week, PCR testing will be carried out in Styria and Salzburg on Monday, on Tuesday in Lower Austria, on Wednesday in Upper Austria and Burgenland and on Thursday in Carinthia, Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Antigen tests should be carried out on the remaining days as before. In addition, parents and students are asked to carry out a test at the weekend if possible.

In Vienna, PCR tests will continue to be carried out at least twice a week. The evaluation also works there – however, due to many late reports and different numbers, unlike usual, no collected data on the infections found in the past week could be presented on Friday. These should come on Monday.

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