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How does the CoronaMelder app work in practice?
Teacher Esther van Gorkum

Lerares Esther van Gorkum

‘The CoronaMelder app helped me to warn others’

When she came down with a mild cold and a sore throat, teacher Esther van Gorkum (34) went to get tested for the coronavirus. The result was positive. Using the CoronaMelder app, she was able to warn those around her. ‘I had seen quite a few people in the days before I tested positive.’

Esther lives with her boyfriend and two children in Arnhem. She works as a Dutch teacher in a secondary school. She downloaded the CoronaMelder app in the autumn: ‘When the app was launched, I immediately installed it on my phone. It is a small effort that helps to stop the coronavirus from spreading. I’m happy to play my part. This is especially true because of my job: as a secondary school teacher, I’m often in contact with other teachers and children.’

Mild symptoms

One week before the Christmas holidays, Esther suddenly developed mild coronavirus symptoms, so she took a test. ‘It turned out I had the coronavirus. As my boyfriend and I have two young children, we stayed at home as a family, so we were both able to keep looking after our children. I did not self-isolate alone in a room. We did not leave the house for 10 days, apart from two trips to the test location for my boyfriend. We really thought he would get the coronavirus, too, but so far he has tested negative twice.’

Use the CoronaMelder app to protect those around you

After her positive test result, Esther got a call from the GGD. The GGD employee gave her advice about self-isolating and asked whether Esther had the CoronaMelder app installed on her phone. ‘Because I answered yes, she asked me to report my positive test result in the app. This is done completely anonymously. The app made it possible to warn those around me. I quickly found out that it works. My boyfriend got a notification on his phone that he had been in contact with someone who had later tested positive for the coronavirus: me. That was really good to know, because I had seen quite a few people in the days before I tested positive, including people at the gym and colleagues at school. It was not possible to tell all these people about my positive result in person.’

**Talking to **students

Esther regularly talks about the coronavirus with her students. ‘We discuss things like the measures and vaccination. We also talk about the CoronaMelder app and why it is useful to download it. I know that a number of students have the app installed on their phones. I think that is a good thing. We all want to get back to normal. Everyone needs to do their bit to make that happen.’

How to download the CoronaMelder app

The CoronaMelder app warns app users who have spent a prolonged period of time near someone who later tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 4.7 million people have downloaded the app since its launch, and more than 140,000 people have used the app to report that they were infected. The CoronaMelder app warns people who have not yet developed symptoms. Good to know: if you do not get any notifications, that does not mean the app is not working. You only get a notification if you have been near an app user who later tested positive for the coronavirus and used the app to report their positive result.

Do you want to install the CoronaMelder app on your mobile phone, like Esther did? Go to the App Store or the Google Play Store to download the app. You can have the app installed on your mobile phone within a minute. Using the CoronaMelder app is always voluntary.