CoV on December 11 | Mass Tests in Salzburg, Upper Austria, Carinthia

The coronavirus is shaping our lives. Here’s everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Austria on December 11, 2020 – updated regularly.

Reporting on COVID-19 in Austria is brought to you by Benjamin Wolf, Amina Frassl & Daniel El-Sabeh.

Find here the daily coronavirus updates for Austria and Vienna, with everything you need to know about COVID-19.

We also prepared in-depth coverage about about Vienna’s mass testing campaign for you.

And if you want to know how Austria will open up after the second lockdown, we’ve got you covered.

Here is a wrap-up of the measures currently in place in Austria, as they were announced, and information about the situation in general.

Get yourself tested! From Dec. 4-13, 08:00-18:00, everyone in Vienna can get a free rapid antigen test in the Stadthalle, the Marxhalle and the Messehalle. Register at österreich-testet.at.

December 10, 2020

  • The rules on meeting people during the holidays may once again be revised, particularly regarding New Year’s Eve.
    • Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) has said that the next four weeks will be “the most crucial in fighting this pandemic.”
    • He thus called for “clear rules” concerning the holidays and and announced that a decree next week will bring more details.
    • The government’s initial plan was to permit up to 10 people from different households to meet on December 24, 25 and 26 as well as on December 31.
    • On these days, the night-time curfew (from 20:00-06:00) would also be suspended.
    • However, recently rumors and calls have grown louder to both make the rules clearer and to further restrict the measures, particularly regarding New Year’s Eve.
  • Today, free rapid mass testing starts in the Austrian federal states of Salzburg, Upper Austria and Carinthia.
    • People can get tested today on Friday, over the weekend on Saturday and Sunday and in Carinthia also on Monday.
    • You can also get tested every day in Vienna at one of three testing sites – the Marxhalle, the exhibition hall (Messehalle) and the Stadthalle.
    • You can register at österreich-testet.at or simply stop by as well.
  • Austrian ministries reported 2,893 new cases in the last 24 hours. The number of known active cases fell by -1,019 (-2.7 %) to a total of 36,518.
    • The federal states reported the following numbers of new infections:
      • Burgenland: 118
      • Carinthia: 249
      • Lower Austria: 360
      • Upper Austria: 663
      • Salzburg: 169
      • Styria: 470
      • Tyrol: 216
      • Vorarlberg: 152
      • Vienna: 526
    • The number of daily tests is at around 25,000.
    • The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 fell by considerable -129 (-3.4%), to currently 3,651.
    • Of those, 572 are in intensive care, a slight decrease by -13 (-2.2%) to the day before.
    • Since yesterday, 126 people have died due to or with the virus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 4,289 people in Austria have died due to COVID-19.
  • Around 349,000 people, or 4.7% of the population, had been infected with CoV across Austria by the middle or end of October.
    • This is the result of the first nationwide antibody study presented today by Statistik Austria and the Ministry of Education.
    • Between Nov. 12 and 14, blood samples from 2,229 people over the age of 16 were taken as part of the representative “Covid-19 Prevalence Study”.
    • Neutralizing antibodies protective against SARS-CoV-2 infection were detected in a total of 92 samples.
    • Extrapolating from this, it can be concluded that since the beginning of the pandemic, approximately 349,000 people from Austrian private households have contracted the disease.
    • Among the 92 individuals who tested positive for antibodies in the study, 61% had not previously been registered in the Epidemiologic Reporting System (EMS).
    • 26 of the study participants reported only one or no Covid 19 symptom, the majority also assumed they had not been infected or were very unlikely to have been infected.
  • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended the authorization of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine against COVID-19 in the United States.
    • At the end of a advisory committee meeting that was also live-streamed on the internet, the expert participants voted 17 to 4 in favor (77%) of granting the vaccine emergency use authorization (EUA).
    • If the EUA will be granted, which after this assessment vote seems to be practically certain, vaccination in the US could start as early as coming Monday.
  • Austrian ministries reported 2,686 new infections and 107 deaths on Thursday. The country’s 7-day-incidence now stands at 220 per 100,000 inhabitants, more than in neighboring Germany with 150.
    • Experts from the Association Gesundheit Österreich (GÖG) expect the number of new cases to keep falling and reach around 1,700 on December 17.
    • Health Minister Rudolf Anschober said that getting daily new infections down to “around 1,000” would be the goal of the government at this stage.
  • The vaccine is likely to provide a stronger and more stable immune response to SARS-CoV-2 than an infection.
    • The reason for that is that even if one contracts the virus, there can be many different forms of having COVID-19, from asymptomatic to mild, stronger or severe.
    • This can also lead to widely differing numbers of antibodies, T-cells and thus immunity.
    • The vaccine instead is tailored to elicit a strong and long-lasting immune response, say experts.

  • After some confusion over a new bill aimed at giving the police more power to control and enforce coronavirus measures, a compromise now seems to have been reached.
    • An early draft of the bill had foreseen the possibility of police entering private homes to control whether coronavirus measures (such as how many people can meet) were followed.
    • After harsh criticism, the bill was amended by the government and will now mainly give the police the power to control business premises, means of transport or other public or semi-public buildings and spaces.
    • Find more about this here.


On the next page, you find an overview of all measures currently in place in Austria.

Benjamin Wolf
Benjamin studied Journalism, History and International Affairs. After stints with Cafébabel in Paris and Arte in Strasbourg, he is now working as managing editor and COO for Metropole in Vienna. Fields of expertise are politics, economics, culture, and history. Photo: Visual Hub

Numbers

For current numbers, check the website of Ministry of Health and the AGES dashboard.

Resources

The City of Vienna has compiled comprehensive information on questions and answers regarding coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease in English.

The Austrian Ministry of Health has put together FAQs on the coronavirus and also provides material to download on how to protect yourself and others from the disease, also in English.

Furthermore, the ministry will constantly update its German-language website with information on the number of people tested and cases of COVID-19 in Austria.

Hotlines

Health advice by telephone1450

If you show symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties) or fear that you are ill, stay at home and dial health number 1450 for further procedures (diagnostic clarification).

Coronavirus hotline AGES+43 0800 555 621

The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) answers questions about the coronavirus (general information on transmission, symptoms, prevention) 24 hours a day at +43 0800 555 621.

VKI hotline for travel law questions+43 0800 201 211

For legal questions concerning trips that have already been booked (e.g. whether a trip can be cancelled free of charge), the experts of the Association for Consumer Information (VKI) provide advice free of charge from Monday to Sunday between 09:00 and 15:00 at +43 0800 201 211.

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