435,000 Viennese use the test program regularly. The gargle samples can be handed in at over 600 Rewe branches and petrol stations, 80 boxes are available on Sundays, although the boxes were last topped up at particularly frequented locations.
On average, 18 hours pass between the submission of the sample and the transmission of the result – “only 0.2 percent of the samples need more than the promised 24 hours”, emphasized the office of City Councilor for Health Peter Hacker (SPÖ) to the APA. In individual cases, errors can of course always occur: “Those affected are asked to report error messages directly in the online form provided for this purpose, so that we can continue to optimize processes.” The corresponding link is available at https://allesgurgelt.at/wien/feedback/.
In other federal states, on the other hand, PCR testing works much worse or inadequately – if you take the federal capital as a benchmark. In Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Salzburg, the system has been restricted for two days; a new test can only be carried out every 48 hours due to bottlenecks.
This circumstance makes complete results difficult or impossible for work, which is important for commuters to Vienna insofar as tests are only valid for 48 hours, reported the “Ö1 Morgenjournal”. Test evaluations take “30 hours or longer” in the federal states concerned, according to the Lower Austrian Chamber of Labor. As a stopgap measure, companies can use antigen tests that are less informative. This sometimes leads to chaos and queues of people in the test streets and in front of pharmacies, and in pharmacies, PCR and antigen tests are sometimes carried out in parallel.
The test kits in some pharmacies in Salzburg recently ran out. There was a crisis summit with the provider in Carinthia. On Wednesday, state spokesman Gerd Kurath said at a press conference that the situation in the gurgle tests had relaxed. There are still occasional problems with getting test kits or one has to wait for the result, but: “On the whole, the situation has improved.” Tyrol wants to set up a comprehensive PCR-Gurgel-System. However, according to the “Tiroler Tageszeitung”, the second provider has already canceled due to a lack of capacity.
In Burgenland there was talk on Wednesday of a slight improvement in the evaluation of the PCR gargle tests. But there are still bottlenecks, according to the country’s coronavirus coordination staff. We are working on a solution – both with the provider and on our own. However, there were no problems with the evaluation of the officially ordered PCR tests.
In Styria, too, there are still delays in the evaluation of the PCR tests – albeit not to the extent of the past two weeks. “We can’t manage 24 hours yet, but we can see a clear improvement,” said test coordinator Harald Eitner when asked by APA. “About three quarters of the samples” would be processed within 24 hours.
The average processing time is 30 hours. In mid-November it was still 38 hours. The evaluation laboratory newly put into operation by Tauernlabor GmbH in Graz initially evaluated the samples from Burgenland in the first week. “That was the trial run, so to speak. From the weekend it should be ready for the Styrian rehearsals”, Eitner continued. With the registration tool “Austria tests” there were problems again on Wednesday in Styria: “However, this was selective at some stations and, as we were told, was due to a faulty server”. According to the feedback from the test stations, it worked again everywhere at lunchtime.