In a few days, several Corona measures are expected in Lower Saxony, as in most other federal states. According to the state government, from Sunday onwards, the state can only order very reduced measures in a few areas, such as wearing a mask on local public transportation or committing to testing at care facilities.
The new federal law to protect against infection allows more measures in so-called hotspots only, such as access restrictions with the 2G rule. Therefore, a region can only be declared a hotspot if Parliament defines a concrete case of infection and it spreads dynamically. Health Minister Daniela Behrens confirmed on Tuesday that there is currently no statewide hotspot law in Lower Saxony, and Hamburg or Mecklenburg-West Pomerania will also be implemented.
As the minister said, there are currently 175 people linked to Covid-19 in the state’s intensive care units – that’s 7.5 percent of all intensive care beds. A year ago, according to the information, 256 people linked to corona were in intensive care units with 119 new corona infections within one week per 100,000 residents.
“This shows how different the virus variants affect each other,” Behrens emphasized. “So one can talk about a high level of infection, but not about an overload in intensive care units in Lower Saxony.”
About 1.1 million schoolchildren in the state will benefit from more facilitation in April — given the upcoming Easter holiday, according to the Department of Education, will begin only on April 20. Then other years will not have to wear a mask – elementary school students are currently allowed to participate in class again without a mask.
The background to the mask requirement, which will not be in effect after the holidays, is also the new federal law to protect against infection — according to the Department of Education, the mask requirement can only be enforced in a few regions. According to the state government, these include health facilities, care facilities, medical practices and local public transportation.
The ministry stressed that students can continue to wear masks if they want to. This preventative measure can be very effective, especially after the holidays. After the holidays, daily Corona tests are planned for eight school days. This is the maximum level of security that the federal legislature allows. According to the information, after this testing phase, it is planned to switch to a voluntary test offer.
The daycare center’s three-week testing commitment for children aged three is said to have been extended through the end of April. In this area also, voluntary testing should be used.
A total of 11,400 employees of the healthcare system in Lower Saxony have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus or their vaccination status is unknown. Backend is a reporting portal launched, Burns said.
Anyone working in healthcare who has not been vaccinated against the coronavirus must report to the local health department across the country for about two weeks. The federal and state governments have decided on compulsory facility-linked vaccination.
According to the ministry, health authorities first require registered people to provide proof of vaccination or a certificate. Facilities are recommended to initially deploy relevant personnel away from patients. If no evidence is presented, the hearing can follow the threat of a fine – this fine is 1,500 euros for a full-time job. After that, a fine of up to 2,500 euros can be imposed. If no evidence is provided, the Ministry of Health can issue a ban on entry or activity.
According to Berens, 41 of the state’s 45 health authorities are working with this reporting portal, the other four offices will collect data in other ways. According to the ministry, about 240,000 people in Lower Saxony work in the healthcare sector, including about 90,000 in nursing. So far, about twenty employees from the healthcare system have been registered with the portal.