The corona pandemic also confronts vocational training institutions, especially large schools, with extreme challenges. Following the general closures, these currently include continuing school operations via the Internet as far as possible and updating existing examination organization.
The most serious challenge, however, will arise when school operations are resumed. How is the conflict of targets between teaching in groups and the protection of individual participants to be solved?
In closed organizations like these, virus tracer programs are an important tool. Although they do not prevent infection, they do allow the quick and effective identification of contact persons when an infection occurs. They cannot be prescribed for use, leaving it up to the member of the school community to decide. But analogous to the vaccination against measles, there is a possibility that entering school and participating in lessons will only be allowed to those who declare themselves willing to do so in the interest of themselves and the community. This should make a practically complete coverage possible.
This is of less importance for smaller institutions. Here all members can be informed in case of infection of a member. But vocational schools often have a size of 2 - 3000 persons. It is disproportionate to close the whole school again immediately because of a single contact case. This applies not only to schools but also to other large institutions such as school authorities, ministries, inter-company vocational workshops and so on.
As with other closed institutions, the reporting of infectious diseases can be made an obligation. In a first circle, all persons who have had contact with the infected person during a suitable period can be ordered into social distance. In a wider circle, their contacts too may be warned and asked to keep their distance for a period corresponding, for example, to the incubation period. In this way, a tracer app is an effective means of maintaining a reasonable balance between teaching and safety.
We inform vocational training institutions about the status of the development of such programs, advise on the characteristics of individual programs and on their use in practice.