Coronavirus: Massive Testing of Children and Educators for the First Time | Free press

In the south of Thuringia, the number of coronavirus infections exploded at the end of November. There are huge restrictions in the Hildburghausen district – schools and daycare centers are also closed. Mass tests should enable the children to return.

Hildburghausen (dpa) – In the corona hotspot Hildburghausen, all preschoolers and schoolchildren and their educators can be tested for the virus for the first time in Germany. The campaign starts today in a kindergarten in the town of Hildburghausen.

About a third of children in municipal kindergartens and the majority of educators want to take the voluntary rapid test, said Mayor Tilo Kummer (left) of the German news agency.

Due to the explosion in the number of infections at the end of November, a hard lockdown has been in force in the entire Hildburghausen district since last Wednesday. Schools and nurseries are also closed. However, there is emergency care. The restrictions were tightened again at the weekend. According to figures from the Robert Koch Institute, the southern Thuringian district again had the highest contamination levels in the entire country at the beginning of the week – although there were no new infections over the weekend, according to the Thuringian Ministry of Health. The seven-day incidence – the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week – was 579; as well as in the second hotspot, the Lower Bavarian city of Passau.

According to the Hildburghausen district office, about 8,000 children in daycare centers and schools, about 1,000 educators and employees of educational institutions can be tested voluntarily. The conditions for this have been created – a total of 11,000 tests have been ordered. How many people accept the offer is open. On Monday, it was said that there had been about 2,000 responses from those who wanted to test. Some local politicians in the district are also said to be skeptical of mass testing.

The mayor of Hildburghausen said that there may be regular care again on Wednesday for children who tested negative for the virus. “Provided we have enough personnel who tested negative,” said Kummer. He imagined the test offer could be repeated in the coming days, the mayor said.

There was an unannounced demonstration against the lockdown with a few hundred participants. Not all of them followed infection control rules. The district office responded with a meeting ban, which is in effect this Sunday. Meetings can only be approved in individual cases and upon request if they are justified under infection protection law and registered four days in advance. In addition, a general mask obligation applies in the center of Hildburghausen.

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