Many people are currently receiving red alerts via the Corona warning app and are confused: What does the warning mean? How does it disappear again? And where to get a PCR test? We answer some of the most pressing questions.
What to do in case of a red warning in the Corona warning app? – All rights reserved Imago / Rudiger Wolk
The number of Corona infections is exploding, and with it the number of warnings via Corona warning app. In the week alone from 15. According to the developer, more than 400 viruses were infected in November.000 red warnings about the application sent. We know from our research on the communications chaos surrounding the right to PCR testing just how much this is upsetting many people.
To date, we receive many questions from readers about the red alerts. Let’s answer a few of them here. A lot of info can also be found in the official FAQ of the Corona warning app and on the federal government’s website.
Note, 25. January 2022: Federal and state government leaders have decided to limit access to free PCR testing in light of insufficient testing capacity. A red warning in the Corona warning app should no longer be sufficient for this in the future.
What does a red warning in the Corona warning app mean??
- Warning after a check-in: In many places, the Corona warning app is used to check in at events with QR codes. The warning via the app occurs, for example, when another person who was checked in at the event tested positive for Corona and then sends a warning via the app. Alternatively, organizer:s can also send a warning when a guest has informed them of a confirmed infection.
- Warning due to contact with increased riskThe Corona warning app exchanges pseudonymous keys via Bluetooth with other smartphones in the area. If a person announces their proven infection via the app, the application warns all people who have been in the vicinity of this person for a certain period of time and have exchanged keys with their smartphone. The threshold for this is currently nine minutes and a distance of less than 1.5 meters. Distances up to 2.5 meters are also included in the calculation, albeit with less weighting.
Should I be quarantined now?
It depends. The on-call health insurance hotline recommends dually vaccinated individuals who have no symptoms and a negative rapid test to reduce contacts as a precaution, but not to quarantine them. Those who have symptoms and/or are unvaccinated should better isolate themselves. However, the best way to find out for yourself is to do a PCR test. This is basically free to get with a little persistence and effort on a red warning.
The Federal Ministry of Health also recommends contacting a doctor if you have any questions. If that doesn’t work with the primary care physician, you can try many places in practices called infectious disease consultations. Alternatively, the hotline of the on-call medical service under the number 116117 may be a first point of contact.
How to get a PCR test after a red warning?
Those with a red warning are entitled to a Corona test: this can be a rapid test or a PCR test. There is only a "fundamental" right to the PCR test, but not a "strict" one. In our research, we found that vaccinated individuals who are asymptomatic were often not told about the possibility of a free PCR test on the hotline or even by primary care physicians. However, the handling of the red CWA warning is handled very differently, we also received reports from people who were vaccinated and asymptomatic immediately got a PCR test.
Numerous readers report that with persistence and insistence, they have often been able to get a PCR test, even if they had no symptoms and were vaccinated. According to the experiences described, this is easier to do in municipal or state test centers. Many private testing centers, on the other hand, reportedly could not bill for the PCR test and therefore declined to PCR test people with red alerts. For anyone vaccinated without symptoms, this means they should not be turned away and must persist until they are granted a PCR test.
However, those who have a red warning and are not vaccinated or those who have symptoms and a red warning or a positive rapid test always have the right to a PCR test.
Where can I find more information about risk encounter?
In the Corona warning app there is a diary option. Here you can independently record which encounters you had on a day. The app also automatically saves check-ins to events here. If one clicks on the appropriate day with the red warning, one finds here among other things the info whether one was warned because of a check-in or because of the evaluated encounters. More precise information about the time of the risk encounter cannot be found in the app, because otherwise it would be too easy to conclude which person has been infected.
The Google-free version of the Corona warning app, which can be downloaded from the F-Droid store, lets you export the data so you can find more information about the warning.
When does the red warning go away?
Many readers want to know what they can do to stop the Corona warning app glowing red. The answer is simple: nothing at all, except wait and see. The red warning remains in the app for 14 days after the risk encounter, on 15. The risk status automatically changes back to green on the 25th day, provided that there have been no new risk encounters.
Even a negative test does not change this waiting period. Although it is possible to upload the test in the app, this has no influence on the risk status, as even a test does not provide absolute certainty.
Does the app also warn the contacts I encounter after I send the warning out?
No. The Corona warning app only informs people you have encountered up to the time of the warning.
As always, we don’t know everything and some things change quickly. Are we somewhere not up to date? Missing info? If there are still open questions? Feel free to write it in the additions under the article.
Note, 25. January 2022: Federal and state government leaders have decided to limit access to free PCR testing in light of insufficient testing capacity. A red warning in the Corona warning app should not be enough for this in the future.