Coronavirus update, July 14, 2021: Prague starts vaccinating the homeless at a mobile field station

Testing at school, workplace to be reintroduced as of September; summer camp group recommends PCR tests; most new Covid cases since early June. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 14.07.2021 09:54:00 (updated on 14.07.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

Prague has started vaccinating homeless people at a mobile field station

Prague City Hall, in cooperation with the Salvation Army, Naděje (Hope) and Drop In, has launched vaccination of homeless people and uninsured foreigners with the single-dose Janssen vaccine from a mobile field station. Where the state does not reimburse the application of the vaccine, the city will pay for it. Prague City Hall hopes the vaccinate all vulnerable groups of the population. Already in June, Prague launched the vaccination of some people from this group accommodated in humanitarian facilities provided by the city. Now the capital is getting to the last group, homeless people who sleep outside, do not use any of the stationary social services and are in contact only with field workers.

“There are still many people in the capital who have fallen into all the safety nets and do not have access to Covid-19 vaccination. In cooperation with field services, we cater to these people and mobile vaccination teams can start actively offering vaccinations right where these people are staying,” City Councilor Milena Johnová said.

“I am glad that the Ministry of Health has finally agreed that vaccinating homeless people will help protect their fragile health and at the same time contribute to the overall higher vaccination coverage of the population of Prague,” she added. The vaccination team uses the times and locations of mobile food outlets to accompany field workers to food aid locations and offer a one-time Janssen vaccine. After vaccination, it immediately enters the information into the central system and issues a vaccination certificate. Field workers will also offer increased support in monitoring health after vaccination. The pilot vaccination began yesterday in an improvised vaccination site under the bridge Libeňský most. A total of 26 clients were vaccinated.  

Testing at school, workplace to be reintroduced as of September

Covid-19 testing will be reintroduced in schools and workplaces as of September, epidemiologist and the health minister's adviser Rastislav Maďar told ČTK. Previously, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch and Education Minister Robert Plaga said that the testing at schools would not apply to the children who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in the meantime. This will supposedly be also the case at workplace. Health Ministry spokeswoman Gabriela Štěpanyová said it will depend on the development of the epidemiological situation. Currently people have to produce a negative Covid-19 test to the employer on return from abroad to work, with the exception of those fully vaccinated and those who recovered from Covid in the past 180 days. Štěpanyová said the ministry has been discussing further possible measures at regular meetings with representatives of employers, and will assess the situation in August. As for schools, a plan of three waves of schoolchildren testing on Wednesday, Sept. 1, Monday, Sept. 6, and Thursday, Sept. 9, has already been approved. Exempted will be fully vaccinated children over 12. Depending on the tests' positivity rate, the testing will be afterwards either terminated or prolonged until the end of September.  

Summer camp group recommends PCR tests

The Children's Recreation Association (ADR) now recommends that children go to summer camps with a PCR test. They should go to it at the earliest 72 hours before departure. The same should be done by the manager and all other camp workers who are not two weeks after the end of the vaccination or have not had a Covid in the last six months. The association said it was making recommendations because of the deteriorating epidemic situation and the first outbreaks in summer camps.

New infection-free rules affect 915,000 who now need Covid tests

Some 915,000 people had been considered Covid-infection free 21 days after they received their first vaccine dose, however, this is no longer the case under new Covid rules as there people are not two weeks after their second dose. They will need to get tested, the Health Information and Statistics Institute (ÚZIS) said yesterday. The government has modified the rules over the increasingly spreading Delta coronavirus variant. From May 24 until July 9, all people who received their first Covid vaccine dose were considered free of the infection three weeks after the jab. The new obligation immediately increased the number of PCR tests. A negative test or a certificate of freedom of Covid infection is necessary for cultural, sports and mass events, as well as some services, such as hairdressers, wellness and restaurants. However, providers of services do not have to check the certificates.

Hundreds used walk-in vaccination centers on first day

The walk-in vaccination center at the Westfield Chodov shopping mall, where it is not necessary to register in advance, vaccinated over 600 against Covid-19 on the first day, according to the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM), which is setting up the vaccination center. Dozens of people were already waiting for the opening of the center on Monday morning. On the same day, a second center for people without prior registration also opened at the main stain station Hlavní nádraží, with 240 people receiving the single-dose Janssen vaccine.

Slovak court suspends directive on Covid quarantine

The Slovak Constitutional Court suspended a chief public health officer's directive based on which Slovakia required quarantine from unvaccinated travelers, TV Markiza reported. The directive that entered into force on July 9 sparked protests at border crossings and the opposition challenged it in court. The Constitutional Court did not comment on anti-epidemic border control measures. The TV station reported that the court is to release further information on Wednesday. The two-week quarantine does not apply to the fully vaccinated travelers and some selected professions, such as hauliers and the staff of bus, train and air transport services.

Most new Covid cases since early June

There were 317 new Covid cases reported on Tuesday, almost three times the number from last week, which was a holiday, and the highest number since June 8. The reproduction number R rose back to 1.45 after having dropped for one day to 1.37. Until this week, the R number had been under 1.31 since Jan. 3. The nationwide index number of new cases per 100,000 over the past seven days rose to 16 from 14 a day earlier. For Prague, the index number rose to 42 from 38 on the previous day. In the Plzeň region, which is also badly affected, it rose to 38 from 33. the PES index, which is no longer used to set policy, rose sharply to 57 from 49 a day earlier. It had been below 50 since April 30. Only five deaths have been reported nationwide since the start of July.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (July 14, 2021)

  • New cases 317
  • Deaths 30,335
  • Currently hospitalized 30
  • PCR tests performed 8,397,882
  • Antigen tests performed 22,676,753
  • Total vaccinations 9,156,505
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 89,554
  • People who have completed vaccination 3,968,550
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 16
  • PES index 57
  • R number 1.45
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