Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

   Austria's schools reopening is leading to testing headaches and more cases of Covid-19. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Austria's schools reopening is leading to testing headaches and more cases of Covid-19. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Thursday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Test requirement to exit Braunau am Inn district in Upper Austria

Exit controls will come into effect in the Upper Austrian district of Braunau am Inn next Saturday. People will need to show a negative PCR (valid for 72 hours) or antigen test (valid for 24 hours) to leave the area. The area has a high seven-day incidence rate of more than 300 (335 on Wednesday), and the rate of fully immunized people is too low at 49 percent, broadcaster ORF reports. The exit test requirement will stay in place until the seven-day incidence drops below 200. People who are fully immunised or have recovered with one Covid-19 vaccination are excluded from the test requirement as are children up to the age of twelve, children attending school and those travelling for basic goods or to use health services.

Austria’s corona forecasting group predict ‘significant’ increase in ICU occupancy

Austria’s experts who make up the Covid-19 forecasting consortium are assuming bed occupancy in ICUs will increase “significantly” in the next two weeks. Across Austria, an increase from 9.8 to 15.9 percent is expected. Experts could not rule out that in Burgenland, Vorarlberg, Vienna as well as in Lower and Upper Austria, occupancy by Covid-19 patients could exceed the 33 percent mark, which the point when ICUs start to be put under pressure, affecting other services. The newspaper Heute reports that planned operations are already being cancelled in Vienna to relieve the pressures on ICUs. It is expected that schools starting will lead to an increase in cases across Austria, broadcaster ORF reports.

Schoolchildren from 500 classes across Austria in quarantine

Since school started again, 500 classes are already in quarantine across Austria out of 58,000, according to the Ministry of Education. The number of new Covid-19 infections in children is steadily increasing due to the more contagious Delta variant and the lack of vaccinations available for children under the age of twelve. In Vienna there are currently six children  in hospital with Covid-19, including a child in intensive care, broadcaster ORF reports.

Highest number of infections recorded in Austria for five months

A total of 2,624 new infections with Covid-19 were registered in Austria on Tuesday, the highest figure in five months. In addition, seven more deaths were reported, increasing the number to 10,856 victims since the beginning of the pandemic. In Austria’s hospitals there was an increase of 20 Covid-19 patients from Tuesday to Wednesday to 825. However, occupancy fell slightly in ICUs, dropping by two people to 198.

Testing in schools gets off to bumpy start

After many schools in the west of Austria started up again this week, problems arose with school PCR tests, broadcaster ORF reports. The results of tests carried out on Tuesday were not available on Wednesday due to a fault in a laboratory, affecting some schools in Tyrol, Carinthia and Salzburg. There have also been problems with the “Everyone gargles” Alles Gurgelt website in Vienna and Upper Austria, which is used for children from the fifth grade onwards, and delays in obtaining tests and test results from the federal government’s Everything Flushes Alles Spült programme

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