How the Belgian Coronalert app works
The Coronalert app has not missed the mark given that it has been downloaded more than 970,000 times in two weeks. The Belgian government is using the app to help combat the spread of the coronavirus. Users are warned about high-risk contacts. What are the steps to follow when you receive such an alert?
The Coronalert app works in two ways. First, the app warns you after you have been in close contact with another user who tested positive for the coronavirus. Second, you can anonymously warn your close contacts when you have tested positive.
Warning system about risky contacts
The app registers contacts between users that last longer than fifteen minutes and are closer than 1.5 metres. This is how the Coronalert app notifies you when you had a high-risk contact with people infected with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. The app does not indicate who, where, or when that occurred.
Important precondition: both you and the infected person must be using the app. So, the more users, the more effective the system.
A high-risk contact alert… so, what now?
If you are notified about a high-risk contact, the app recommends that you take a coronavirus test. If you have symptoms, you should take this test at your family doctor’s practice. If you have no symptoms, call a contact tracing centre that will provide you with more information about where you can get a test.
The app creates a situation-dependent code that you show to your family doctor or the test centre. They will link the code to your test so that the app can notify you of the result. If the result is positive, contact a doctor (again). You can then voluntarily notify your high-risk contacts with a Coronalert.
A red screen in the workplace
Suppose one of your employees is notified about a high-risk contact. He or she immediately warns the supervisor and leaves the workplace. The supervisor or occupational physician then warns the colleagues who were in close contact with the employee. Obviously, they must be extra watchful for symptoms.
Colleagues who were within 1.5 meters of the employee for more than 15 minutes will also receive an alert via their app.
The more people download and use the app, the faster we can break the chain of infection. You can use visual materials to encourage staff to use the Coronalert app.