Immediate Covid testing now available for asymptomatic close contacts
The Dutch government updated its protocol for when people can get tested for the coronavirus. In addition to people with symptoms, close contacts of persons who tested positive for the virus can now also get tested immediately after being notified, whether or not they're showing symptoms, according to the new RIVM protocol for source and contact tracing.
This involves category 1 and 2 contacts - the infected person's housemates and anyone they had more than 15 minutes of contact with at a distance of less than 1.5 meters, or had brief but very close contact with such as kissing.
Category 3 contacts can get tested after the fifth day in which they were near the infected person. This includes people who had extended interaction with the infected person but at a distance greater than 1.5 meters, and those who spent less than 15 minutes with someone carrying the viral infection where they were separated by less than 1.5 meters.
The new guidelines from the RIVM were also added to CoronaMelder, an app from the Dutch government that uses Bluetooth to track interactions with people infected with the virus. "In the latest version of CoronaMelder it is also possible to pause the app," the Cabinet said in a statement on Wednesday.
"This pause function is one of the most requested additions to the app and is especially suitable for users who regularly (have to) leave their phone near other phones." This could be especially helpful for employees who leave their phone in a locker at work, or students whose phones are collected at the beginning of a lesson.
Users specify how long the pause should last, and can put the app on pause at any time they wish. They are notified that they have to relaunch the app when the break has ended.