Employers in sensitive areas: Agreement on corona vaccination status query

Status: 03.09.2021 07:17 a.m.

In clinics it has long been a matter of course that employers are allowed to query the vaccination status of their employees. The cabinet now wants to expand this right to information – to areas such as care for the elderly and childcare.

Employers in particularly sensitive areas such as care for the elderly and childcare will in future be able to query the vaccination status of their employees. According to Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), the grand coalition has agreed on this regulation. Spahn told the magazine “Der Spiegel” that for many years it has been “for good reason” that hospitals should ask their employees in patient contact whether they have been vaccinated against infectious diseases. “In this pandemic, we want to extend this right to information to other areas,” said Spahn.

Other media had previously reported on the agreement between the coalition partners Union and SPD. A corona occupational health and safety ordinance passed by the federal cabinet on Wednesday did not yet contain a right for employers to obtain information on the vaccination status of employees.

Query in care for the elderly and childcare

Spahn named nursing homes, daycare centers and schools as specific areas to which the right to information is to extend in the future. There, the employees are entrusted with people who need special protection, he argued. “How do you want to explain to a relative that the mother died of Covid because the carer was not vaccinated?”, Said Spahn in “Spiegel”.

However, there should not be a broader obligation to provide information, for example to enable work in an open-plan office. “It would make sense. But I don’t see a majority in parliament for that at the moment,” said Spahn.

Spahn wants to loosen quarantine rules for students

The Federal Minister of Health also spoke in the “Spiegel” for a relaxation of the corona quarantine rules for schoolchildren. What is needed is a “solution suitable for everyday use” and a “uniform requirement for quarantine in schools. The health ministers of the federal states should finally agree on this,” said Spahn. If the students wore masks in class, the whole class does not have to be quarantined if a positive case occurs.

“It would be pragmatic that only the people sitting next to you could go into quarantine for five days and then test themselves,” said Spahn. “Sending an entire school class like now to quarantine means that at some point hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren will not attend classes for two weeks, even though they are not infected at all,” added the CDU politician. So far, there are very different quarantine rules in the countries. Spahn also spoke out in favor of using PCR tests in schools. Lollipop PCR tests should be carried out “preferably nationwide” before the lesson.

Many students have not yet been vaccinated because there are currently no vaccines that are officially approved for children under the age of 12. Recently, the number of corona infections had risen sharply, especially in younger age groups.

Seven-day incidence increases to 80.2

However, the numbers continue to rise in the population average: According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the seven-day incidence was 80.2 on Friday morning – the previous day the value was 76.9, a week ago it was 70, 3.

The highest incidence is recorded in North Rhine-Westphalia with 119.0. In Hesse and Bremen, too, the value is over 100. The RKI indicates significantly lower incidences for the eastern German federal states: The incidence is currently lowest in Saxony-Anhalt at 21.7.

The health authorities in Germany reported 14,251 new corona infections to the RKI within one day. A week ago, the value was 12,029 infections. According to the new information, 45 deaths were recorded across Germany within 24 hours. A week ago there were 14 deaths.

The number of hospital admissions has recently also been used as an orientation value for the corona policy. The seven-day hospitalization incidence indicates how many admissions of Covid 19 patients in inpatient treatment per 100,000 inhabitants were reported in seven days. On Thursday, the RKI gave the value in the management report as 1.74 (previous day 1.81). A nationwide threshold value from when the situation can be viewed critically is not provided for the incidence of hospitalization, among other things because of large regional differences. The previous high was around 15.5 around Christmas time.

The RKI has counted 3,984,353 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic. The actual total number is likely to be significantly higher, as many infections are not detected.

Query of the corona vaccination status should be possible to a limited extent

Alfred Schmit, ARD Berlin, September 3, 2021 7:24 am

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