Literature review

Rapid audit of contact tracing for COVID-19 in New Zealand

COVID-19 Pandemics Public health New Zealand

Rapid case detection and contact tracing, combined with other basic public health measures, has over 90% efficacy against COVID-19 at the population level, making it as effective as many vaccines. This intervention is central to COVID-19 elimination in New Zealand. The report presents findings and makes recommendations for improvements to contact tracing to control COVID-19 in New Zealand.

Key recommendations

  1. The Ministry of Health should expand the capacity of Public Health Units (PHUs) to isolate COVID-19 cases and trace their contacts three to four-fold for as long as COVID-19 remains a public health threat. Some of this additional capacity should include contact tracing teams that can move from one PHU to another according to need.
  2. The Ministry of Health should develop a COVID-19 outbreak preparedness plan that includes how to rapidly scale case identification and contact tracing and regain control. The plan should specify the task-shifting arrangements between PHUs and NCCS and any additional resource required to deal with up to 1000 cases per day while maintaining high performance.


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