Country is looking for “volunteer heroes” for mass tests

Country is looking for “volunteer heroes” for mass tests
Country is looking for “volunteer heroes” for mass tests

The state of Upper Austria is looking for “voluntary heroes” in cooperation with the Austria team: These are people who want to help, the corona mass tests from December 11-14 to handle. Interested parties can contact www.teamoesterreich.at/toe/ or under www.treffpunkt-ehrenamt.at Sign in. When deployed, you are insured through the Red Cross, informed Governor Thomas Stelzer and his deputy Christine Haberlander (both ÖVP) on Friday.

After the tests for the teachers on December 5th and 6th and the police on December 7th and 8th, around 1.4 million Upper Austrians can be tested from December 11th to 14th. Around 570 test lines are to be installed, 1,700 employees per day are required for the acceptance test alone, and the total demand should be around 3,500 people per day. The sticking point is therefore the staff.

We are looking for doctors, paramedics and medical students for test acceptance, but also people for administrative and stewardship activities as well as people who take care of the supply and replenishment of material. Volunteers who have registered with Team Austria will be notified by SMS if help is still needed in their region. When registering, training, availability, etc. are queried so that the Red Cross can deploy people precisely.

The mass tests could help to break the chains of infection and are “also an important step for a reasonably familiar Christmas in a small circle of the family,” said Stelzer and Haberlander, appealing to Upper Austrians to be tested. In order for the “mammoth task” to succeed, however, many volunteers are needed who are willing to help. Thank you for all of them now.

Preparations are also in full swing for the tests of around 38,000 Upper Austrian teachers and elementary educators on December 5th and 6th: The district authorities have announced possible locations that the armed forces will check them for suitability in the coming days, Haberlander reported. The locations should be fixed by the beginning of next week. For Haberlander, these tests are also “an important step in reopening schools”.

Criticism of the federal government

As far as the costs for the mass tests are concerned, in Upper Austria the federal government has an obligation. It was said that advance payments would be made, but that they would act in the indirect federal administration, so that the federal government would have to bear the costs, which could not yet be realistically estimated. The mayor of Linz, Klaus Luger (SPÖ), assessed it similarly on Friday. He and Health Councilor Michael Raml (FPÖ) saw themselves organizationally left out in the rain by the federal government, too much was still unclear – for example the question of additional PCR tests and contact tracing measures after a positive rapid test.

LHStv. Manfred Haimbuchner (FPÖ) joined in this criticism: The federal government let cities and municipalities “after their controversial and half-baked announcement of mass tests with the concrete planning and implementation of the same in the lurch”. Apparently there are massive concerns about, for example, the legal basis for deploying the armed forces, IT systems or staffing levels. He would support the measures taken by the federal government if “the underlying strategic approach and the corresponding consequences were openly communicated,” said Haimbuchner. At the moment he thinks the mass tests are more of “a diversionary maneuver and a game of time”.

The Upper Austrian AK President Johann Kalliauer fears that, given the current legal situation, a further test would have to be carried out after a positive antigen test and separation notices would only be issued after a second positive test. “For me, the mass tests are money thrown out if people who are positive do not receive a notice of quarantine immediately,” said Kalliauer. Employees who tested positive must be released from their work immediately and with continued payment of wages, he demanded.

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