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Criticism directed at the city council in Bonn: Family was considered a quarantine case despite negative test

Criticism directed at the city council in Bonn : Family was considered a quarantine case despite negative test

The Bonn health department falsely listed a family as a quarantine case for 14 days despite negative PCR tests. However, this had no influence on the incidence value in Bonn, the city said.

The interference in the freedom of movement and action in the course of the quarantine regulations is considerable. Affected persons who have potentially had close contact with someone infected with Corona are not allowed to go to work or school, not even shopping. After her own experience with the health department, Katrin von Nida from Bonn wonders whether the city administration does not sometimes react somewhat hastily and thus send too many citizens into quarantine. The incidence rate, which has a considerable influence on public life, may also be incorrectly inflated.

During a rapid test in Oberkassel, Nida's son Paul had tested positive for Covid-19 on April 21. The parents had then contacted the health department. "They said a contracted laboratory would eventually get back to us for a PCR test," von Nida recalls. "At some point" struck her and her husband Christian Bohlmann as richly indefinite. At their own expense, the parents ordered a PCR test that same day. The very next morning, they were pleased to receive a negative result. "We sent that to the health department and thought the matter was settled," von Nida explains.

Health department does not accept independent action

But her counterpart on the phone had already sounded anything but pleased. An independent test is not in conformity with the system. It would be difficult to remove the second-grader, who was not infected after all, "from the system". This was not really successful. Finally, on May 4, the health department's quarantine team contacted the family with the joyful news that the family's quarantine would expire that day. Five days later, the quarantine order was issued again in writing for all three during the period April 21 to May 4.

City spokeswoman Monika Hörig gives the all-clear in the matter. Only "in a few individual cases" were people subsequently deleted from the infection reports, she says. One reason, for example, was that the infected person was not registered in Bonn. However, this had no effect on the incidence rate. In Paul's case, this did not happen. "The reporting criterion for a confirmed Sars-Cov-2 case is the validated PCR-positive laboratory report. If this is not available, the reporting software does not allow reporting as a confirmed positive case," Hörig explains. Individuals with a positive rapid test would only be created as cases "for processing" in the Sormas database.

Why was quarantine not withdrawn?

Von Nida had acted completely correctly. The negative PCR test after the positive rapid test automatically ended the quarantine. Hörig emphasizes, "Confirmation by the health department is not required for this.“

According to the family, a laboratory had never contacted them for testing, possibly because the health department had withdrawn the order after the available test. Why the family was nevertheless listed as being in quarantine for the full 14 days, the city administration cannot explain. The quarantine orders are sent out automatically after the period has expired - for example, as proof for employers or schools, Hörig reports. She does not want to rule out the possibility that there was a glitch here. In view of the thousands of quarantine cases this spring, individual errors are possible. In any case, Paul von Nida is glad that he did not have to keep watch over the house. Yet the mishap is not trivial, as it could affect others as well. In a review of all positive rapid tests within three weeks in March and April in Hamburg, just under a third proved false-positive in the subsequent PCR test, according to the Senate.

(Original text: Martin Wein; Translation: Mareike Graepel)