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Possible Covid-19 infection?: Your Corona app shows a red alert? Here’s what happens next!

Possible Covid-19 infection? : Your Corona app shows a red alert? Here’s what happens next!

As long as the little notice box in your Corona warning app is green, everything is fine. If it turns red, there is an increased risk of contracting Covid-19. What happens then? And what about vaccinated people?

At the moment, the incidence rate in Germany and also the rates in Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district, are rising again. It can quickly happen that the Corona warning app on your smartphone sounds the alarm. But what is to be done then?

How does the Corona warning app assess the possible risk?

The Bluetooth technology with which the app works analyses two clues: the duration of an encounter and the distance between the users, explains the federal government on its Corona website. For the app, encounters with a Corona-positive person are considered risky encounters. There are three statuses: low risk (green), unknown risk (grey) and increased risk (red). You get a red warning if you come closer than two metres to a person who has tested positive for Corona.

But the warning does not happen in real time. Your smartphone has no information about who is infected. It only knows that it was in the vicinity of another smartphone on which a verified positive test result was stored. Whether a positive test result is shared or not is basically up to each person.

What happens when the app warns of an increased risk?

A risk contact is not only indicated by the red warning. The app also sends a push notification. If this happens, it means that there have been encounters with at least one Corona-positive person within the past 14 days.

The app then also gives advice on how to behave: if possible, people should go home or stay at home and contact their family doctor, the medical on-call service at 116117, or the public health department, to agree on how to proceed, writes the German government.

The RKI further explains: "The user is asked to reduce personal contacts. The doctor will ask about symptoms, relevant contacts, risk indications if any, and then decide whether to test.“

Is the Corona test free of charge if the app gives a red warning?

According to the Coronavirus Testing Ordinance, people who have received a warning through the warning app in the last ten days are also entitled to a free test from official agencies. Whether one receives a PCR test or a rapid test in case of a red warning is decided by the doctor or the health office.

Anyone who has a positive test result must be quarantined. People who are symptom-free can possibly end the quarantine early by taking a second test a few days later: If this is negative, the quarantine is lifted. However, the costs for this test are not covered.

What applies to vaccinated persons in the event of a red warning?

According to the RKI, different quarantine rules apply to vaccinated persons in the event of contact with a person who has tested positive: persons who have been fully vaccinated against the Corona virus are exempt from quarantine measures after contact with a confirmed corona case, as are recovered persons.

However, this exemption only applies if exposure to the virus variants beta or gamma is not involved. In this case, the RKI again recommends quarantine. According to the RKI, the vaccinated or recovered person should carry out self-monitoring (body temperature, symptoms) until the 21st day after contact with the person who tested positive. If one develops symptoms despite previous vaccination, one must go into self-isolation and be tested promptly. At the request of Bayrischer Rundfunk, however, the RKI still recommends using the Corona warning app and also following the instructions in the event of a red warning - including calling your family doctor or the public health department. (Original text: Sofia Grillo / Translation: Mareike Graepel)