Corona suspicion: What should I do now?

The coronavirus still keeps us on our toes. But what should I do if I suspect Corona? Find out the right steps here!
Corona suspicion: man on the train
The coronavirus continues to spread in Germany. And many people are unsure of what to do if they suspect they may have been infected. We explain here exactly how you should deal with a suspected corona.

What should I do if there was a Corona case in my area?

It is important to differentiate how close this contact is. The Federal Ministry of Health recommends a test to the following people:
  • You have flu-like symptoms ( dry, irritable cough and fever occur particularly often, sneezing not at all)
  • and have been in a risk area for the past 14 days (the Federal Ministry of Health updates the affected regions continuously),
  • or you have had contact with someone who has confirmed the infection in the past 14 days.
If the contact was only indirect, i.e. via a person who is infected, no test is recommended. Instead, you should isolate yourself at home for 14 days and avoid contact.

How can I get tested?

The first thing you should do is call your family doctor. Under no circumstances should you simply go to the practice - if you are actually infected, the practice may have to be closed as a precaution, which will make it difficult to care for other patients. If the practice is closed or there are other urgent reasons, you can instead call the on-call medical service at 116 117 or contact your responsible health department directly. The Robert Koch Institute offers a tool that you can use to find out the relevant office using your own postcode or place of residence.
If you know which health department is responsible, it is worth taking a look at the corresponding website - many health authorities have set up extra corona hotlines. The health insurance companies have also responded and offered special hotlines. You can find the entire list with all telephone numbers 
Important: Please don't give up immediately if you can't get through to a hotline directly. A lot of people are currently trying to get tested, which can lead to waiting times. Please stay at home as long as you are unsure whether you are infected and cannot reach anyone.

Will I definitely get a test?

It is often possible to clarify on the phone whether a person actually belongs to a legitimate suspected case. In this case, the health department will decide how to proceed. Central test centers have meanwhile been set up in some cities, but sometimes the test is carried out by a family doctor or in a hospital. The health department will tell you where you have to go when and what the test procedure looks like.

How does the test work?

For the test, a sample is taken from the patient's upper airways, for example in the form of a smear from the throat or nose. The genetic material of the virus is then searched for in the sample in the laboratory. New tests usually only take about three to five hours to get the result. But depending on how far the laboratory is from the test site and how high the workload there is, it can also take a day or two until the result is clear.
The respective doctor informs the patient about the test result - if it is positive, the health department is also informed. Since the procedure can be prone to errors, the test is repeated several times if the result is positive.

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