Uniform rules – Polaschek: Even asymptomatic teachers in the classrooms

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Autumn is coming – until then new rules are needed for dealing with the corona pandemic in schools. Education Minister Martin Polaschek (ÖVP) again pleaded for uniform national rules on Tuesday. He is pushing for Covid-infected teachers to step into classes, too — but only with an FFP2 mask.

There is a uniform regulation from the Ministry of Health for all employees – this should also apply to educators. “Anyone who can take responsibility can go to class,” Polaschek pleaded at a press conference.

“Covid will not leave us”
“If a teacher feels healthy and feels that he or she can go to school, he or she has the opportunity just like everyone else,” the minister emphasized. You have to be prepared “that Covid will not leave us”. However, if a variant emerges that is also highly contagious and leads to a more serious course, the scheme should be reconsidered.

“We’re trying to get back to some sort of normalcy,” Polaschek says. He recalls that there have been repeated calls for the schools to remain open over the past two years. If you now create the opportunity to prevent classes or schools from closing by having symptom-free infected people teach with a mask, then that is right.

Specific rules not yet known
He thinks it is important that the schools are an integral part of the other measures, says Polaschek. The specific regulations for the autumn would be announced on August 29, as planned. So far, some states, such as Vienna or Burgenland, have announced that they will not send Covid-19-infected teachers to compulsory schools – they are the employers there.

According to the minister, the extent to which CO2 measuring equipment and air purification equipment will be used more intensively in the autumn is currently being checked. Schools were able to apply for mobile air purifiers last year. However, this was only partially claimed. The devices are not necessarily quiet and generate heat on their own, which is why they have not been well received. However, in all new buildings, care is taken to integrate air cleaning systems.

Schools and universities with different rules
Polaschek defended that, unlike schools, universities have the option of taking their corona measures independently. The situation is not comparable: university teachers who teach between four and ten hours a week can switch to online education much more easily with a symptom-free infection, and students do not have to be supervised if a course is cancelled.

In any case, most universities currently recommend that you only come to the institution in the event of contamination in exceptional cases. Detailed regulations for the winter semester starting in October, however, will not come until the coming weeks.

Source: Krone

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