Despite high incidences in Berlin and Brandenburg: Mask requirement in primary schools remains suspended for the time being
Despite high incidences
Mask requirement in primary schools remains suspended for the time being
Primary school students in Berlin and Brandenburg are currently hardest hit by the corona pandemic. Nevertheless, the mask requirement has been abolished in this area. That will stay that way for the time being – but resistance is stirring.
In view of the high seven-day incidence among primary school students in Berlin and Brandenburg, a new debate about the mask requirement has flared up. In both countries this rule was abolished for elementary schools in early October.
According to information from the rbb evening show, the Berlin Hygiene Advisory Board has decided to continue to suspend the mask requirement in elementary schools for the time being. This was justified by the fact that hardly any children still fell ill despite corona infections. The advisory board includes scientists, medical officers and paediatricians, school practitioners and representatives of the districts, the regional parents’ committee, the regional school advisory board, the regional pupil committee and other committees.
In Brandenburg, according to information from the rbb news program Brandenburg, the cabinet will not deal with the Corona Handling Ordinance again until November 2nd.
Particularly high infection rate in primary schools
In Berlin, the seven-day incidence in children between 5 and 9 years of age is 186.5, in 10 to 14-year-olds it is 180.3 (as of October 25, 2021). This means that these two age groups are currently most severely affected by corona infections.
In Brandenburg, 5 to 14-year-olds are also the most severely affected of all age groups by new infections, with a seven-day incidence of 180.3 (as of October 22, 2021). At the same time, the number of new corona cases among young people in Berlin and Brandenburg has increased from July to September roughly tenfold.
Pediatrician and state student committee against mask requirement
The Berlin pediatrician Jakob Maske, also spokesman for the professional association of paediatricians, advised in the rbb evening show to observe the situation closely: “Of course, it is not surprising that after the holidays the incidences are increasing again. Observe the intensity of the observation happens.
The Berlin State School Students Committee also advocates suspending the mask requirement in elementary schools for the time being: “Especially when it comes to learning to read and speak properly and to articulate oneself clearly, even in foreign language lessons, which are in third grade begins, it is very important to be able to do without the mask, “said Rufus Franzen, board member of the regional student committee in the rbb-Abendschau.
Virologist calls for combination of tests and mask
The virologist Martin Stürmer, on the other hand, urged in the rbb evening show that masks are compulsory in primary schools: “The problems with masks must of course be taken seriously, but in view of the impending cold, the incidences here will probably continue to rise.” In primary schools you need a “combination of good testing and a mask”. Even if children are rarely asked, a long Covid risk cannot be ruled out, warned the virologist from the Frankfurt University Clinic.
The President of the German Teachers’ Association, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, is also in favor of a return to mandatory masking in primary schools. At the beginning of October he described the suspension as premature in the rbb. The primary school children are currently still unvaccinated, and it is to be expected that the number of infections will have continued to rise after the autumn break.
For the schools in Brandenburg, René Mertens from the Brandenburg State Parents’ Council is calling for more air purification devices to be installed as soon as possible. Because regular shock ventilation of the classrooms is no longer practicable in the cold autumn and winter, he said in Brandenburg currently: “We need a joint effort by the state and municipal educational institutions. We can no longer wait for air cleaning devices, winter comes and if we are unlucky it gets really hard. We can’t keep the windows open all the time. “
Broadcast: Abendschau and Brandenburg aktuell, October 25, 2021, 7:30 p.m.