While case numbers remain low, population-wide control methods combined with efficient tracing, testing, and case isolation, offer the opportunity for New Zealand to contain and eliminate COVID-19. The authors use a stochastic model to investigate containment and elimination scenarios for COVID-19 in New Zealand, as the country considers the exit from its four week period of strong Level 4 population-wide control measures.
- Findings suggest that the current population-wide controls (Alert Level 4) have already had a significant effect on new case numbers.
- Fast case isolation, whether as a result of contact tracing, rapid testing, or otherwise, can lead to containment and possibly even elimination, when combined with strong population-wide controls.
- Slow case isolation can also lead to containment, but only as long as strong population-wide controls remain in place. It is unlikely to lead to elimination.