Coronavirus, information
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Current information on the novel coronavirus
The global spread of COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO on March 11, 2020. In the meantime, cases of infection with the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) have been confirmed in all federal states. It is a very dynamic and serious situation worldwide and in Germany. In some of the cases, the course of the disease is severe, and fatal courses of the disease also occur. The number of cases in Germany continues to rise. The massive efforts at all levels of the public health service (ÖGD) continue to pursue the goal of detecting infections in Germany as early as possible and delaying the further spread of the virus as much as possible.

How is the novel coronavirus transmitted?
The novel coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person. The main route of transmission is droplet infection. This can be done directly from person to person via the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract or indirectly via hands, which are then brought into contact with the oral or nasal mucosa and the conjunctiva. Therefore, the generally applicable coughing and sneezing etiquette as well as good hand hygiene should be observed.

How long is the incubation period?
It is currently assumed that the incubation period is up to 14 days.

What symptoms are triggered by the novel coronavirus?
Like other respiratory pathogens, an infection with the novel coronavirus can lead to symptoms such as fever, dry cough, runny nose and fatigue, and breathing problems, sore throat, headache and body aches and chills have also been reported. Some people experience nausea and diarrhea. The course of the disease varies greatly. In the cases reported so far mainly from China, four out of five disease courses were mild. In some of the patients the virus can lead to a more severe course with breathing problems and pneumonia. So far, deaths have mainly occurred in patients who were older and / or previously suffered from underlying chronic diseases.

Information on traveling abroad
The Federal Foreign Office publishes regular travel advice. You can find this information and provisions for the respective countries via the link "Travel and safety information (Federal Foreign Office)"

The new type of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has now spread across the globe. That is why the Federal Ministry of Health urgently advises all those returning to Germany:
  • Avoid unnecessary contacts
  • Stay home for 14 days




A city hotline on the coronavirus has been set up for hamburgers with relevant symptoms who have recently been in affected areas or who have had contact with potentially infected people (see us contact details). General questions about the coronavirus are also answered here.

Conduct in public (excerpts from the ordinance to contain the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg)
  • In public places, people must always keep a minimum distance of 1.5 m from one another, unless the local or spatial conditions do not allow this or something else is permitted.
  • Persons in public spaces are only permitted to stay alone or when accompanied by persons who live in the same apartment (Article 13 Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law) or when accompanied by another person who does not live in the same apartment. The distance requirement does not apply to these people.
The ordinance to contain the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg can be found under the heading "Links".

Behavior in wearing a mouth and nose covering
From April 27th In Hamburg it is mandatory to wear a mouth and nose cover in public transport, when shopping in shops and at weekly markets.

What to do when someone returns from abroad
It is recommended to go into domestic isolation for 14 days in order to rule out a possible illness and infection.
People who have unspecific general symptoms or acute respiratory problems with / without fever and who have been abroad in the last 14 days should contact their family doctor promptly by telephone and clarify how to proceed.

What to do if someone has had contact with a confirmed case of illness with coronavirus
People who have had close personal contact with someone who has been found to have the coronavirus in a laboratory:
  • report to the health department, in the responsible district office (see link "Infection protection, notification"). The health department will decide together with the people on how to proceed.
  • Until contact with the health department in the district office, it is recommended to voluntarily go into domestic isolation and avoid contact with other people.
How can you protect yourself from infection?
As with influenza and other acute respiratory infections, coughing and sneezing etiquette, good hand hygiene and a distance to sick people (approx. 1 to 2 meters) also protect against transmission of the coronavirus. These measures are advisable everywhere and at all times, even in view of the flu epidemic.

Which people are being tested?
The Robert Koch Institute has developed new criteria that are used to decide whether a person should be tested. Testing for COVID-19 can be considered for the following people:
Acute symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fever) and
  1. Close contact (at least 15 minutes at a distance of 1.5 m or less) with a confirmed COVID-19 case up to 14 days before the onset of the disease
  2. Connection with an accumulation of pneumonia in care facilities or in the hospital
  3. No contact with COVID-19 case, but: work in nursing / doctor's practice / hospital or belonging to the risk group for severe courses (chronic illness).
In Hamburg, the cases will continue to be tested that have been in a risk area in the last 14 days or have had contact with a person who tested positive and show symptoms of the disease.

When a test needs to be taken
Under these conditions, please contact your family doctor by phone. If the family doctor cannot be reached or if he cannot take a smear, the on-call medical service can be called on 116117.
Until the result of the test, one should voluntarily go into domestic isolation.
People who are currently in isolation at home due to returning from a risk area or contact with a person who tested positive will continue to stay at home for 14 days.

How do I get my test result?
The forwarding of negative results from the laboratories currently takes several days due to the large number of examinations.
Findings of positive results are reported separately to the health department, so that feedback by telephone is given here as quickly as possible - usually within 72 hours.

Doctors who would like to report suspected cases are asked to contact the district health authorities (see also the link "Protection against infection, report").

Related Links

  • Infection protection, message
  • Travel and safety information (Federal Foreign Office)
  • Robert Koch Institute Coronavirus
  • Foreign Office - China Travel and Safety Instructions
  • Robert Koch Institute Coronavirus FAQ
  • Coronavirus in Hamburg
  • Coronavirus: Investigation of suspicions and measures - guidance for doctors
  • Foreign Office - Italy Travel and Safety Advice
  • Ordinance to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
  • Catalog of fines in accordance with Section 33 (2)
  • Coronavirus, information on vaccination
  • Press release: Hamburg's central corona vaccination center

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