The new “Anterio-Nasal Tests” allow a simple smear with a swab in the front of the nose. Students and teachers should have the opportunity to take this test once a week on a voluntary basis. It has not yet been clarified when the schools will return to face-to-face teaching. Vienna. Since the infection numbers are very different in the federal states, this will only be clarified by the beginning or middle of next week, said Faßmann. In addition to an Austria-wide approach, a regional solution would also be possible, i.e. an opening only in those regions with a low number of infections – but both models would have advantages and disadvantages. When the schools open, the upper classes should come back. However, the return takes place in a safety net, so Faßmann: “Testing is the only answer.”
The new test works quite simply and is not painful due to the removal in the front nasal area: After removal, the swab in a folding box is drizzled with a liquid, and the box is then closed. The result will appear on the front within a few minutes. If the result is positive, the health authorities must be notified and a PCR test carried out. The possibility of weekly testing is aimed for in the future. “Monday is test day,” said Fassmann.
Elementary school students should take the test kits home and carry out the tests together with their parents. From lower school or secondary school, the children and young people at school receive instructions on how to use the test, for example through videos or trained staff such as school doctors. From the second run, you will then receive the tests home with you. But they can also be carried out as a kind of “social event” in school, says Faßmann. By the end of January, the entire five million tests should be there – the ministry will pay 2.70 euros per test.
Participation is voluntary
Participation is voluntary. “There is neither a carrot nor a stick,” said Fassmann. Children under 14 years of age need a declaration of consent from their parents – if this is not available, they will not be given a test. The tests can be disposed of in the residual waste. Participation does not exempt you from wearing mouth and nose protection in school. “There will be parents who refuse,” said Fassmann. That is also possible. “Overall, this is an opportunity not only to open schools, but also to keep them open.”
The classification of the pedagogues in the sequence of the vaccinations has also been clarified: They fall into phase two and should receive the vaccine at the end of February or beginning of March. There will be no compulsory vaccination for educators.
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