Austria has to close individual schools again

Corona tests in Austria

Samples in a Viennese laboratory: New corona infection foci make headlines in the Alpine region.

(Photo: dpa)

Wien A cluster of coronavirus infections in Linz has caused the authorities to take a drastic step. For the first time since the end of the lockdown in Austria, schools are closed locally again.

The Upper Austrian governor Stelzer announced that this would apply to schools and kindergartens in the city of Linz and in the surrounding districts of Linz-Land, Urfahr-Umgebung, Wels and Wels-Land from Friday. This means that the last week of school is canceled for tens of thousands of children before the holidays begin. Stelzer also explicitly called on the Linz population to wear masks consistently in public transport and to avoid events.

The case makes it clear that there are more and more herds of infections in Austria. A meeting of a Rotarian club in Salzburg recently caused a local outbreak.

The new cluster in Linz goes back to the predominantly Romanian free church “Church of God Pentecostal Church”. The authorities speak of 20 cases of infection, more than 100 church members are in quarantine. Four kindergartens and four schools are affected. For the city of Linz, this is the largest increase in cases of infection during the corona crisis.

The authorities obviously do a lot to narrow down the focus of the infection. Nevertheless, closing a large number of schools due to a comparatively small number of infections is a far-reaching step. The authorities have to put up with the question of whether the cluster can also be contained using milder methods such as the effective tracking and isolation of cases (contact tracing).

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