CoV on December 14 | 2 Million Went to Mass Tests

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

Reporting on the coronavirus 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.

December 14, 2020

News from Austria

  • Austrian ministries reported 2,588 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours.
    • The 7-day-incidence stands at 205 new infections per 100,000 people.
    • The federal states reported the following case numbers:
      • Burgenland: 79
      • Carinthia: 239
      • Lower Austria: 448
      • Upper Austria: 543
      • Salzburg: 220
      • Styria: 448
      • Tyrol: 143
      • Vorarlberg: 110
      • Vienna: 358

Cases Overview

Active casesHospitalizedIn intensive care (ICU)Deaths
Total33,8843,4795944,530
Daily change-482 +35 +17+57
in percent-1.4%+1%+2.9%+1.3%
RecoveredTested positive
Total284,174325,051
Daily change+2,588 +2,463
in percent+1%+0.8%

Source: Austrian Ministry of Health, December 14, 2020.

  • Austria’s first mass testing drive is being completed today. The results are mixed at best.
    • All across the country, 2 million people got themselves tested. That is approximately 22% of the Austrian population.
    • A total of 4,000 positive cases could be identified. Everyone positive case with the rapid antigen test was corroborated with a PCR test afterwards.
    • Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner (ÖVP) had originally hoped to test 60% of the population, but she still sees the campaign as a “successful major project.”
    • Several federal states now plan to make free rapid antigen testing permanent. Tyrol already announced that free testing will be available starting next weekend, Styria wants to start in January.
    • The City of Vienna also offers several free testing sites, as it has been doing since the summer.
    • The Austrian government is planning another mass testing campaign across the country for the beginning of January.
    • Given the reluctance of many to get tested, the Ministry of Health is currently working on a system of making regular testing mandatory for certain groups (e.g. employees in exposed professions) and incentivize others with vouchers of potentially up to €50.
  • Here’s how many people went to the mass testing facilities in Austria’s federal states.
    • In Vienna, a little over 230,000 people came, which is about 13.5% of the population. 591 positive cases were found (that’s a positivity rate of 0.25%).
    • In Lower Austria, over 570,000 people got tested, which is 37.8% of the population. 834 infections were found (a positivity rate of 0.15%).
    • In Styria, almost 250,000 got tested, which is 20.7% of the population. Of those, 987 were positives cases (a positivity rate of 0.4%).
    • In Salzburg, 124,000 people came, akin to 22% of the population. About 500 tested positive (0.4%).
    • In Carinthia, 105,000 were tested, that’s 18.8% of the population. 558 positive cases were found (0.53%).
    • In Upper Austria, over 270,000 people came, which is 18.4% of the population. Of those, 1,020 tested positive (0.38%).
    • Tyrol hasn’t reported any conclusive numbers yet and the Burgenland is still testing today.
  • If the number of new coronavirus infections does not fall to 1,000 per day by the end of next week, there should be a “Christmas repose.”
    • This was demanded by SPÖ leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner yesterday on ORF’s “Pressestunde.”
    • The “repose” should entail closing all shops, stores, schools and recreational facilities from December 24 to January 7.
    • Currently, up to 3,000 new infections are reported daily.
    • “We must prevent a third lockdown,” Rend-Wagner emphasized.
  • Vorarlberg’s Governor Markus Wallner (ÖVP) has spoken out against compulsory vaccination.
    • “Whether someone is vaccinated against the coronavirus is a very personal matter,” Wallner said.
    • Wallner nevertheless hopes for a good vaccination rate.

Elsewhere in Europe & Around the World

  • The Robert Koch Institute has reported 16,362 new infections for Germany at the beginning of the week.
    • That brings the total number of infections in Germany to 1,337,078, with another 188 people dying from or with the virus, to a total of 21,975 casualties.
    • A hard lockdown will enter into force on Wednesday, with retail outlets – except stores for the needs of the daily life – having to close until Jan. 11.
  • The Italian government yesterday reacted with concern to the mass crowds of people in the shopping streets of the country’s city centers, as well as in pubs.
    • “The more relaxed the restrictions are, the more citizens have to behave sensibly,” warned Attilio Fontana, President of Lombardia.
  • Vaccinations against coronavirus will be administered in GP surgeries across the country in England starting this week.
    • The announcement was made by the National Health Service (NHS).
    • At 100 sites across the country, people over 80, as well as residents and care home staff, will be vaccinated with the Biontech and Pfizer product.
  • The new government of Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte decided to put Lithuania in lockdown during its first meeting yesterday in Vilnius.
    • The regulation is to apply until January 31, 2021.
    • In Lithuania, more than 93,000 people have tested positive for CoV since the pandemic began.
    • 815 people died from the virus.
  • In the United States, vaccination against the coronavirus has begun as of today.
    • The FDA has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) on Saturday.
    • Vaccine doses have been shipped over the entire weekend and are now being administered.

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.

We Provide Our Corona Coverage for Free

But We Need Your Support!

Did you know that fewer than 2 out of a 100 people who read this article every day are subscribers?

We are proud to serve Vienna’s international community. Without your help, we won’t be able to do so for much longer. 

 

Subscribe now!

Benjamin Wolf, 

Managing Editor & COO