A positive result in the self-test means that you are most likely infected and presumably have also been contagious for a few days. Please keep calm: In Germany, many other people are affected like you every day - you are not alone. The result must be checked immediately by a PCR control test. You can take a PCR control test directly at some testing centers or at your family doctor. Go into quarantine until the result of the PCR test is available and also inform your close contacts as a precaution. You are not allowed to enter the campus of TU Dortmund University. If the result of the PCR test is negative - i.e. if the self-test was false positive and you are not infected after all - then the restrictions will no longer apply and you can give your contacts the all-clear. If the PCR test is positive, quarantine automatically becomes mandatory.
In order to perform the PCR tests as efficiently as possible, samples from up to ten individuals are collected ("pooled") at TU Dortmund University and analyzed together. If a pooled sample is positive, it is known that at least one sample was positive, but not which one. For this reason, subsequently the respective samples B are reanalyzed individually. Only then is it certain who is positive and who is negative. In order to prevent an infected person from being on the campus, it is necessary that until the individual results are available, all persons who were involved in the positive collective sample temporarily stay at home and limit their contacts as much as possible. It is also advisable to prepare a list of close contacts as a precautionary measure. As a rule, the individual result of the sample B will be available on the following day at the latest. Then, the persons who have a negative result can suspend the precautionary measures again.
A PCR test is very reliable. Consequently, a positive result in the individual test means that one is actually infected with the coronavirus. Therefore, you have to go into quarantine for usually 14 days, i.e. you are not allowed to leave your home or private property and you are not allowed to receive visitors, so that you do not infect anyone. In order to break the chain of infection, you must inform the people with whom you last had close contact; for this the period of up to four or five days before the test is relevant. Also consider on which occasion in the past 14 days you could have become infected yourself. Meetings with family or friends without a mask are particularly relevant here, as this could have resulted in a larger outbreak. Symptoms develop very differently with Covid-19. Most often they remain mild, especially in young people. If necessary, one should consult one's family doctor respectively general practitioner.
Quarantine means that you have to isolate yourself from other people and stay at home. If you test positive for PCR, this applies automatically and to household members as well, unless they are fully immunized and asymptomatic. The health authorities department does not have to specifically order this first. Please ask friends or neighbors if they can do the shopping for you and find out about delivery services in your area.
TU Dortmund University supports and advises its members in case of quarantine. The Psychological Student Advisory Service offers daily telephone counseling for students. Contact them during office hours at 0231 755 5050 (Mon-Thu 1 p.m. - 1.30 p.m., Wed-Fri 8.30 a.m. – 9 a.m.) or make an appointment via mail. For employees, the Social Contact Persons (Soziale Ansprechpartner, APa) can be reached via mail: Ms. Rüger, Dr. Herrmann or Mr. Schaarwächter will get back to you as soon as possible, no later than the next business day.
If you are new at your place of residence and do not have any support for errands in your environment in case of quarantine, you can also find people at TU Dortmund University who can help you: Students can contact the student representative bodies (Fachschaften), employees the Covid-19 Response Officer. The International Office also offers help for international students.
Please do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it.
Household members of an infected person are among the close contacts. Unless they are fully immunized and asymptomatic, they must also immediately go into quarantine without being ordered to do so by the public health department. They should have a PCR test done as soon as possible. Has there not yet been an infection, they should try to avoid being in the same room as the infected person in their home if possible. They should inform their own close contacts so that they, in turn, can reduce their contacts, test themselves respectively get tested and observe the developments.
Inform those persons with whom you were last in close contact. Relevant is the period of up to four or five days before the test was carried out.
People with whom you have had face-to-face conversations without a mask and without distance are considered to be close contacts. Other people with whom you have had contact for more than ten minutes without a mask and without a minimum distance are also considered to be close contacts. If you have been together with other people in a room with a high aerosol concentration, they are also considered close contacts, regardless of distance or mask. This applies, for example, to sports in inadequately ventilated halls. You can read more details about this definition on the RKI website (german only).
All close contacts, who are not fully immunized and asymptomatic, must be quarantined as soon as possible, so that you should not wait for the order of the public health department. They should immediately perform a PCR test. They are also urged to inform in turn all persons with whom they have had contact in the past four to five days, so that they can reduce their contacts, test themselves/get tested and observe themselves.
Due to the distance and hygiene measures, there will usually be no contact during teaching that is considered close in the sense of the RKI definition. Exceptions could exist if, for example, aerosols are emitted to a greater extent in sports or music, so that inadequate ventilation could lead to the assumption of a high virus concentration in the room air. Also, if exercises were to be done in tandem, close contact could occur. To assess the situation, consider what the surrounding conditions were in the specific situation. Contact your instructor to discuss the situations. Digital check-in and check-out via QR codes will help to identify your seatmates. Depending on the assessment of the situation, individual participants or the entire course can be quarantined.
The Covid-19 response officers of the faculties and institutions can help with contact tracing. If you are unsure, the colleagues from Occupational Health Management, Lavinia Simon and Franziska Wallmeier, are happy to help and advise both those affected and the pandemic officers. Contact them via mail. They are also authorized to view the digital data for traceability in courses and to pass it on to the public health department if necessary.
TU Dortmund University wants to use proactive contact tracing to help break chains of infection as quickly as possible. It is important that measures are initiated immediately, even before the sometimes overburdened public health departments contact those affected. Specifically for this purpose, the Dortmund Health Department has published a guide for contact persons (german only).
The course of the disease varies widely; in most cases, infected individuals develop only mild symptoms similar to those of a severe cold. The most commonly mentioned are cough, sore throat or fever, and a loss of sense of smell and taste may also occur temporarily. Observe yourself. If you feel unwell, contact your family doctor/general practitioner or local public health department. In rare emergencies such as respiratory distress, dial 112.
A period of fourteen days is estimated for recovery. The number of recovered people in Germany is now in the millions.
The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) has set up a detailed information service for citizens (german only).