Federal government wants to ban states from wearing masks in schools – KMK protests


Berlin. RKI’s corona map is currently almost completely purple – that means over 1,000 cases have occurred. Although spring is approaching, wave BA.2 continues to build. And in this particular development, the federal government wants to prevent federal states from enforcing nationwide mask requirements in schools (it should only be allowed in unspecified hotspots). There is resistance to this – even in the Conference of Ministers of Education, which has not yet drawn attention due to its own caution in managing Corona.

Will we soon be running in the schoolhouse without masks? If the federal government has its way: Yes. Photo: shutterstock

And the German teachers’ union had already warned last week against the abolition of the obligation to wear masks in schools, despite the increase in cases of corona infection in many places. Instead of opening plans by the federal government, association president Heinz-Peter Medinger of the “Rheinische Post” said that deferring or even withdrawing easing steps should be considered. “As an association of teachers, we anticipate a more vibrant, rational, and hard-to-understand mixture of COVID-19 protections in schools in light of the future exclusive responsibility of federal states for safeguarding measures in schools.”

Medinger said that the current wave of corona is leading to a decrease in the number of faculty members in many schools “as it was not the case in all the previous months.” “If mask requirements are lifted completely, and in some federal states, the obligation to get tests is, then Covid infection will go unchecked in schools due to the highly contagious omicron variant.” teachers. However, there are also advocates of abolishing the mask requirement, who believe that relief for children and young people is necessary two years after the pandemic. Parenting is divided into many schools.

The development seems to agree with Meidinger: More and more federal states are relaxing (also) coronavirus rules in schools – and the seven-day infection rate in Germany is again at a high level. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the number of new corona infections recorded per 100,000 inhabitants per week on Wednesday at 1,607. A week ago the value was 1,319. It’s true that positive tests are still more common in school-aged children, teens, and adults up to age 34. However, the RKI has recorded a clear upward trend among the elderly. Recently, more outbreaks of the disease have been reported in nursing homes and nursing homes.

The incidence of children is brutal in some regions of Germany: the Eichsfeld (Thuringia) region, for example, has a value of 7129 for those aged 5 to 14, and the neighboring region has a population of 7,092. Six cities and counties in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are in the category Age values ​​greater than 5000 – A similar number (4812) is reported for Vulcaneville in the Rhineland-Palatinate.

According to experts, the main reasons for the current development are omicron subvariant BA.2, which is 40 percent more transferable, and the mitigation of protective measures. Current reporting numbers assume a large number of unrecorded cases. An indicator of the number of unreported cases is the percentage of positive tests: the Association for Accredited Laboratories in Medicine (ALM) last week gave it nearly 54 percent — a high in the pandemic. According to the association, the background could be that many infected people do not go to the doctor and/or that the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is no longer performed often after a positive rapid test. This is especially true for students.

“We have increasing numbers of injuries, omicron subtype BA.2 is better”

The head of the Federal Association of Physicians in the Public Health Service (BVÖGD), Johannes Nessen, said on Wednesday that the situation in the health authorities remained very tense. “We have increasing numbers of injuries, omicron subtype BA.2 is better. Our focus is on vulnerable groups – but that doesn’t mean all other groups are no longer in focus.” The arrival of refugees from Ukraine means additional tasks, such as tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and, in the case of group accommodation, tests for tuberculosis.

He said that statements that up to 30 percent of those who arrived from Ukraine tested positive for coronavirus were considered too high. “Individuals will be tested positive upon arrival.” However, in the event of an outbreak in places of residence, such a high percentage of infected people can be reached very quickly. “Against this background, it is also important to adhere to the mask requirements. Small measure, big effect,” said Nessen, also with the aim of first reading on changes to the Infection Protection Act on future Corona protection measures from March 20, which are planned for Wednesday in the Bundestag. .

“Uncontrolled spread – which I fear at the moment – should not be Germany’s goal now.”

Munich virologist Oliver Kepler considers the nationwide mitigation of the upcoming coronavirus a mistake in light of the growing number of infections. “My impression is that we currently have a disconnect between the actual development of the infection process and the political discussion around mitigation and Freedom Day,” said the head of virology at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. “Uncontrolled spread – which I fear at the moment – should not be Germany’s goal now.” There are still 200 to 300 deaths from corona every day. “In about nine out of ten, Covid was also the cause of death,” Kepler said.

The number of coronavirus patients coming to clinics per 100,000 residents within seven days was 7.45, according to RKI on Wednesday (Tuesday: 7.21). Among them are many people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have another major illness. A plateau recently emerged for people with corona in intensive care units: since the end of January, the number of such patients there has ranged between about 2,100 and 2,450, and on Wednesday it was about 2,300.

Davey’s Intensive Care Registry scientific director, Christian Karaganides, tweeted on Wednesday that 0.13 percent of all infected people will be required to remain in intensive care. Many elderly people and patients with weakened immune systems will be treated. A serious problem at the moment is the lack of staff due to infection, but also due to childcare.

For comparison: the peak load on intensive care units was not reached until the end of April in the third wave of 2021, with more than 5,000 Covid-19 patients at that time.

How things will play out this year remains uncertain to some experts. “It’s hard to assess evolution right now,” physicist and model Viola Pressman wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. Accurate predictions cannot be made at this time because it is not known exactly how the dissociation is and how well immunostained to the omicron subvariant BA.2.

“What is planned now has nothing to do with a cautious and cautious exit.”

Even the Education Ministers Conference (KMK) is concerned. Federal states should also be able to require mask requirements in the classroom after March 20 if necessary, according to KMK President and Schleswig-Holstein Education Minister Karin Brin (CDU). According to the will of the federal states, all restrictions on schools should be lifted by May at the latest, in particular the obligation to wear masks and take exams without reason. However, for now, it is necessary to establish a national regulation for basic protection, “which also makes it possible to provide masks and tests as tools if necessary.”

Thuringia’s Education Minister Helmut Holter (left) also criticized the federal government’s approach. At the Conference of Ministers of Education, it was agreed to approach the exit procedures from Corona with caution and care. “What is planned now has nothing to do with a cautious and cautious exit.” News4teachers / Articles from dpa

The course of underestimating the Ministers of Education, the school maneuvers in a dead end – Corona threatens without end

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