Coronavirus: simplified, faster generation of SwissCovid app codes

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The process of generating covidcodes has been significantly simplified and accelerated. Persons who have tested positive can enter their code into the SwissCovid app to inform other app users of possible exposure to the virus. Previously, only cantonal medical services as well as the attending doctor were authorised to generate covidcodes. This circle has now been expanded to include labs, infoline staff, testing centres and pharmacies. In its 18 November 2020 meeting, the Federal Council has approved the related amendments to the ordinance, which also provide the basis for a fully automated process around the covidcode. Data protection continues to be guaranteed.

The isolation of persons who have tested positive and the mandated quarantine for their close contacts are both designed to break the transmission chain and are thus important measures to address the Covid-19 epidemic. They are prescribed in the framework of the so-called contact tracing. The proximity tracing system (PT system) of the SwissCovid app supports contact tracing. By entering their covidcode into the app, users with a positive test result prompt an anonymous message to all users of the app who, through contact with the person, might have been exposed to the virus. To make sure users of the SwissCovid app who have tested positive receive their covidcode as quickly as possible, a new set of persons have been given access to the code management system to generate codes. Data security continues to be a top priority and remains guaranteed.

Goal of the amendments to the ordinance

The amendments of the Ordinance on the Proximity Tracing System for the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus allow for the workload of the cantonal medical officers to be shared with additional groups of persons with access to the code management system and, simultaneously, for the automated generation of codes. The main purpose of the amendments is to speed up the distribution of covidcodes, so that as little time as possible elapses between the SwissCovid app user receiving his or her positive test result and the moment a warning is sent to the other users.

Additional groups authorised to generate covidcodes

According to the amended ordinance, labs, infoline staff, testing centres and pharmacies are now also authorised to generate covidcodes. Labs being the first place to learn of a positive test result, authorising them to directly generate covidcodes will likely contribute in a meaningful way to speeding up the SwissCovid app processes and thus increase the app’s effectiveness. Medical staff at testing centres administer tests and (if rapid tests are used) share the positive result with the affected person. They are now able to directly issue a covidcode to this person. The same applies to pharmacy staff who administer rapid tests. The authorisation of infoline staff to access the code management system provides further support to the cantonal medical offices.

Automation of the covidcode process

In order to ensure a simpler and, importantly, quicker generation of covidcodes, it is now possible to generate them automatically and issue them directly to users of the SwissCovid app who have tested positive. This automated generation of codes is generally open to all healthcare facilities and their specialist staff who have access to the code management system. The automated generation of covidcodes requires an interface between the code management system and the system used by the healthcare facility in question.

The Federal Council
www.admin.ch/gov/en/­start.html