Covid-19: what you need to know about the new Medicare procedure for contact cases
A friend of yours just tested positive for Covid-19? And you just recently went for a drink at his place without a mask? No luck: you are probably in contact. But be careful, you will not be immediately notified by phone that you must, in turn, take a screening test. Overwhelmed by the number of cases, Medicare has indeed “systematized”, since October 15, a “dematerialized procedure “, considered less time consuming, and therefore in staff.
“The current levels of circulation of the virus are causing Medicare to deploy new methods of contact in order to continue to inform as quickly as possible as many people as possible about their status with regard to Covid-19”, she warns on the Ameli site. Explanations of this somewhat complex procedure around four questions.
Who is considered a contact case?
This expression designates the list of people frequented by a patient who tested positive, and who are considered “at risk”. Clearly, all the relationships that this patient has seen up close and without a mask (or without equivalent protection, such as a separating glass or a hygiaphone).
These include, according to the National Health Insurance Fund joined by franceinfo, “those who share the same place of life” than a confirmed or probable case, of those who have had “direct contact with him, face to face, less than 1 meter, whatever the duration (conversation, meal, flirtation, hugs, hugs) “, of those who shared with him “a confined space (office or meeting room, personal vehicle, etc.) for at least 15 minutes” and finally pupils or teachers of the same school class (nursery, primary, secondary, group of tutorials at the university).
“On the other hand, people crossed in the public space in a fleeting way are not considered as contact persons at risk.”The National Health Insurance Fund
The “zero patients” (for example the friend with whom you went to have a drink and who is now positive for Covid-19) are asked to quickly provide the list of these contact cases. For maximum efficiency, they indeed receive very early “a message encouraging them to prepare a list of their contact cases with their contact details “. The platform of “contact tracing” (the investigators responsible for identifying the contact cases of the patients) will only call them afterwards.
How are contact cases treated?
Once identified, how are contact cases notified that one of their associates has tested positive? Medicare response: “33 million members of the Ameli account have a validated e-mail address which allows us to send them messages linked to ‘contact tracing’ “.
By this email, “Medicare invites contact persons aged 18 and over (…) to consult their Ameli mailbox to find all the useful information: confirmation of their contact case status, rules to follow concerning screening, isolation or work stoppage, number to call for any questions “, specifies the institution on its site.
What if the contact cases do not go to their Ameli messaging system?
What happens if the contact cases concerned, and asked to be tested, do not read their emails? Or if they have read them, but without going to their Ameli mailbox? “These emails are accompanied by a reminder by SMS informing the people concerned that they have received a message.“Says the National Health Insurance Fund. Finally, as a last resort, a phone call will be used to reach them.
“Among these people (the contact cases), those who would not have consulted their Ameli e-mail are contacted by telephone within 24 hours by the health investigators.”The national health insurance fund
Who is still reached by phone?
Medicare continues to call tested patients positive at Covid-19 in order to obtain a list of their contacts. And if these contact cases are tested positive, they in turn become “zero patients” who are asked for the list of people attended without a mask.
Finally, let us add that in certain regions of France where the epidemic is more contained than elsewhere, the telephone is still preferred, including for contact cases. Asked by the site of 20 minutes, lhe director of the Primary Health Insurance Fund of Gironde, Philippe Claussin, insists that “96% of contact cases are called within four hours of the platform learning of the test result (responsible for identifying contact cases) “.