Upper Austria bans hospital and nursing home visits

Upper Austria bans hospital and nursing home visits
Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash
Authorities in Upper Austria have banned visits to nursing homes and hospitals as coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket across the country.

The ban will come into effect from Tuesday, November 10th. The ban will apply for two weeks but can be extended

Upper Austria, which borders hard-hit Bavaria and Czech Republic, has seen a significant rise in infections in recent days. 

The northern state has recorded more than 2,000 infections in the 24 hours to Saturday, the highest since the pandemic began.

Approximately 350 new infections have been recorded in Upper Austrian nursing homes over the past week, along with a number of deaths. 

'Decision week': Austria considering stricter lockdown measures if infections continue to rise 

Residents and patients will still be allowed to leave the facilities, while visits to palliative care facilities and pastoral care will also be allowed. 

Visits from children will continue to be allowed, as will visits during childbirth. 

Health Councilor Christine Haberlander (ÖVP) and Social Councilor Birgit Gerstorfer (SPÖ) have appealed for the population’s understanding of the need for the “tough” measures. 

“The situation is serious, actually it's very serious,” she said.

“The developments in old people's and nursing homes and hospitals are now our main focus, which is why we are taking particularly strict measures here to protect the facilities and their patients and residents from the introduction of infections as well as possible.

“We know that this measure is tough – for residents, patients and visitors. We ask for your understanding, however, to adhere to the guidelines, we must be aware that otherwise we will have to pay a much higher, much more painful price if we do not succeed.”

Federal measures? 

Austria introduced a range of shutdown measures nationwide on Tuesday, November 2nd. 

These did not however include banning visits to retirement homes and aged care facilities. 

Pursuant to the shutdown framework, Austrian states are free to put in place stricter measures should they be deemed necessary. 

As reported by The Local Austria on Monday, federal authorities are also considering putting in place stricter measures should new case numbers continue to climb.

 


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