Ack! You have received a Health Risk Warning on your phone! What the heck does that even mean? And what are you supposed to do about it? Don't panic. This is Singapore's newest effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 without going into full lockdown.
What is a Health Risk Warning/Alert?
Health Risk Warnings (HRW) are sent via SMS based on TraceTogether/ SafeEntry data. They ping you if you are identified to be a close contact of a COVID-19 case such as a family member, co-worker, classmate or friend. You might also get a HRW notification if you have been in close proximity with a COVID-19 case for an extended period of time.
What's the difference between a Quarantine Order, Health Risk Warning and Health Risk Alert?
A quarantine order is given to people who have or are suspected to have Covid-19 or are a close contact of a Covid-19 case.
As stated above, a health risk warning is issued to those who, based on SafeEntry data, have been in close proximity with a Covid-19 case for an extended period, or are identified as a close contact of a case. These people aren't considered as high risk as the people who are issued a quarantine order.
A health risk alert is sent to people whose SafeEntry records from the past 14 days overlap with those of a Covid-19 case.
What should you do if you get a HRW?
Click here to book an appointment for a Polymerase Chain Rection (PCR) test either at a Private Practitioner or Swab-And-Send-Home (SASH) clinic (excluding polyclinics).
Keep self-isolating until you receive a negative test result
Perform a self-test using an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) self-test kit on the 3rd, 5th and 7th day from last exposure to determine if you are infected. You may collect this kits at the ART Vending Machines using your NRIC/FIN. These vending machine are at 56 locations across Singapore. Find the closest one to you by clicking here.
Book another PCR test at the end of HRW. This is to determine whether you are incubating the COVID-19 virus.
If you get a Quarantine Order, things are a little different as they come with very specific instructions, which will include isolating themselves either at a dedicated government quarantine facility, a hospital, or your home if it is suitable. Where you have to isolate depends on the Ministry of Health's (MOH) assessment of their contact history, state of health, and suitability of your home.
What does self-isolating mean?
Self-isolation prevents you from potentially transmitting the Covid-19 virus to others until you are confirmed not infected by a negative test result.
Do not leave your residence, except to seek medical treatment from a doctor or to go for your PCR tests
You are strongly advised to stay in your room and minimize interaction with others in your household or visitors during this period
Sounds awful? It's not so bad... far better than your whole household getting Covid! You can end self-isolation only after you receive a negative PCR test result. Even after that, you should continue to minimize social interactions as much as possible for the entire HRW period.
Don't mess around with this! Self-isolating and following the above procedure is required by law. And don't skimp on logging in with your Trace Together app either. The idea is for us all to get a handle on infections early so we don't spread Covid and we can avoid full lockdown. This is the step to treating Covid as endemic.