2020 coronavirus pandemic in Austria
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|First outbreak||Hubei Province, China via Lombardy, Italy|
|Arrival date||25 February 2020|
The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic in Austria is an ongoing viral pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a novel infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first case of COVID-19 occurred in Innsbruck on 25 February 2020 (two travellers from Italy). As of 29 March 2020,[update] Austria has reported 8,271 cases and 68 deaths according to worldcoronavirus.org. Recoveries are only updated irregularly until now.
On 25 February 2020, Austria confirmed the first two cases of COVID-19, a 24-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman from Lombardy, Italy tested positive and were treated at a hospital in Innsbruck, Tyrol.
On 27 February, a 72-year-old man in Vienna had been in the Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung hospital for 10 days with flu symptoms before he tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. He was then transferred to Kaiser-Franz-Josef Hospital. A couple who tested positive and their two children who were showing symptoms were admitted to Kaiser-Franz-Josef Hospital. The family had previously been on holiday in Lombardy, Italy. On 28 February, one of the children, a 15-year-old boy tested positive. Due to the illness, precautions were taken at his high school as 4 teachers and 23 students born between 2003 and 2005 were sent home for isolation.
Beginning from 1 March, authorities in Germany and the Nordic countries begun identifying Tyrolean ski resort town of Ischgl as a major coronavirus hotspot. Several hundred infections were eventually traced back to the town with transmissions having occurred from late February on. After initially playing down the risks, Tyrolean authorities placed the entire town in quarantine on 13 March.
On 10 March 2020, the government announced that all universities would close their classes at the latest by 16 March. All outdoor events with more than 500 people and all indoor events with more than 100 people were cancelled. All children older than 14 years old were ordered to stay at home, starting 15 March, with the younger children starting 17 March . This will apply until 4 April. Travel restrictions for people coming from Italy are established. The government asked the general public to avoid social contact and announced even further restrictions to be made soon.
On 12 March 2020, Austria confirmed the first death of COVID-19, a 69-year-old man from Vienna died in Vienna's Kaiser-Franz-Josef Hospital.
Potential COVID-19 infected persons should under no circumstances go to a doctor or to an outpatient clinic in order to reduce the risk of infection. They were asked to call the Healthcare number 1450 instead. On 15 March, there were about 70 times as many calls as on other Sundays before the pandemic.
On 15 March, a ban was also announced for public gatherings of more than five people, and restaurants were ordered to close beginning on 17 March. In addition, Günther Platter, the governor of Tyrol, announced a one-week lockdown for the whole province. Residents in Tyrol were required to remain in their homes except for necessary reasons such as purchasing food or medicine, visiting the doctor, withdrawing cash, or walking a dog.
As of 16 March, nationwide, homes may only be left for one of the following reasons:
- urgently necessary professional activities
- necessary purchases (groceries or medication)
- assisting other people
- outside walks, alone or in the company of people living in the same household
Officials stated that those restrictions are being actively enforced by the police.
Confirmed cases, as of March 29, 2020, 3:00 p.m .: 8,536 cases, by federal states: Burgenland (159), Carinthia (239), Lower Austria (1,350), Upper Austria (1,451), Salzburg (798), Styria (915), Tyrol (1,944), Vorarlberg (579), Vienna (1,101).
Deaths, as of March 29, 2020, 3:00 p.m .: 86, by federal states: Burgenland (3), Carinthia (2), Lower Austria (19), Upper Austria (7), Salzburg (4), Styria (19), Tyrol (10), Vorarlberg (1), Vienna (21).  [nb 1]
On 17 March, in addition to border checks, Austria banned all arrivals from Italy, China's Hubei Province, Iran, and South Korea, excepting those who had a medical certificate no more than four days old that confirmed they were not affected by coronavirus.
On 27 March, it was announced that no further prevention measures are planned.
On 30 March, the government laid out plans to introduce compulsory wearing of masks covering mouth and nose. Initially, this will only affect persons entering supermarkets, but will be extended to more public places in near future.
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