Contact tracing: new rules of the game or flying blind

In view of the high number of corona infections due to the Omicron variant, contact persons of those who tested positive in Upper Austria are no longer traced – except in particularly endangered facilities such as old people’s homes. This reduction in contact tracing has been in effect since yesterday, Monday. Deputy Governor Christine Haberlander (VP) announced it on Sunday.

Yesterday she emphasized that Omikron was setting up “new rules” and that Tyrol, Styria and Salzburg had already changed over. Haberlander also asked the federal government again to consider reducing the quarantine for triple vaccinated infected people to five days. Tilman Königswieser, Medical Director of the Salzkammergut Clinic and member of the crisis management team, is also in favor of this due to the shorter incubation period and infectiousness of Omicron.

SP health spokesman Peter Binder sharply criticized: “After 22 months of the pandemic, apparently nothing has been learned.” The crisis management of Governor Thomas Stelzer (VP) is still “flying blind”. If you stop contact tracing, you have to provide a broader range of tests.

Debate about living room tests

The free living room tests, which are again recognized for 3G proof, will be handed out to the population in municipal offices from this week. Here the Social Democrats are angry about the procedure. The municipalities were informed in a succinct letter, the only help was an Excel list to control the quantities. There is neither additional staff nor other help, criticized Bettina Lancaster, designated head of the association of community representatives.

From the Stelzer office it is said that it was coordinated with the community association. Due to a lack of a legal basis, the issue via the pharmacies is not possible this time. Association of Municipalities President Johann Hingsamer (VP) says that the request from the state came at very short notice, but that they were willing to do so out of responsibility in the fight against the pandemic. We were informed as soon as possible about the processing, such as data protection law.

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