The number of new corona infections in the neighboring country, which is followed by Berchtesgadener Land with a time lag, remains at a very high level.
As of Thursday, January 20, 2 p.m., the Austrian health agency AGES reports an incidence of 2,320 for Salzburg as a whole, and 1,581 for the city of Salzburg alone before 3564, but has been falling slightly for days. The authorities there have stopped classic contact tracing, and only those who are infected receive a special notice. Relatives and contact persons should isolate themselves on their own responsibility.
Gernot Filipp from the state statistics spoke in an online press conference of a new high in new infections. The numbers would increase in the next few days, “Omikron is in full bloom in all parts of the country”, only the city of Salzburg and Flachgau are lagging behind. In the age groups, Omikron is currently represented among 10 to 19 year olds. 75 patients are currently being treated in the Salzburg clinics, 17 of them in intensive care units, “this number has been very stable for a few weeks”.
While the authorities were still waiting for the best case a week ago, the peak of the omicron wave was already on January 20th, but the peak has now been pushed back. “The first signs point to a peak at the end of January or beginning of February,” says Filipp, “a maximum at the end of January is not unlikely.”
“Living room tests” allowed again from Wednesday
Uta Hoppe, spokeswoman for the medical staff, expects an increase in the normal wards, “there are still patients with the delta variant in the intensive care wards, but we now also have a non-vaccinated omicron patient who is being ventilated”. And an omicron patient has already died. The disease with the omicron virus was milder, some patients had a sore throat, diarrhea, fever, the lungs were only less affected. “We will not get rid of the virus, the only question is when WILL someone come into contact with the virus,” said Hoppe.
Covid manager Peter Schinnerl confirmed that the alleged living room tests (rapid antigen tests) will be temporarily permitted again from Wednesday of this week. This self-monitored test was approved by the federal government “as an emergency measure”. The tests that were distributed last year and some of which were bunkered in the households are still valid and usable. Since Wednesday last week, those who have tested positive received a link via SMS with the request to take over the contact tracing, the information of the contact persons, themselves and thus save resources on the part of the authorities. Via a link, users then automatically receive a notice of separation that applies to the employer. 3,400 of these SMS have already been sent since Wednesday. About half were processed and returned. Separation notices are now only available in the state of Salzburg for infected people, no longer for contact persons. “With 2000 or more infections per day, this is no longer feasible,” says Colonel Schinnerl, “contact tracing in the classic sense is currently not possible.” In households, individuals should isolate themselves, only when the numbers go down again would contact persons be officially separated again.