The public health team at University of Otago, deeply immersed in the country’s Covid-19 management, recommends five measures to improve our control of outbreaks.

What do you think of these?

  1. Develop a robust system to allow region-specific Alert Levels. They propose Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel, the rest of the North Island, and the South Island.
  2. Support faster and more complete contact tracing by mandating the use of either QR code scanning or manual sign-ins at all essential services during Alert Level 4. This would include mandating at lower Alert Levels for high risk venues in terms of super-spreading events (eg, bars, night clubs, gyms and churches).
  3. Reduce the risk of virus transmission by expanding mask use requirements to all essential workers. This should ideally include mask use at Level 4 for all essential workers who are in shared indoor spaces (eg, in factories that are operating under Level 4 to produce essential products such as food, but also for the export market).
  4. Have a much stronger focus on the vaccination of essential workers – especially those in Auckland. And if demand for vaccinating such essential workers is very high in Auckland – then it would probably make sense to delay the roll-out for other people in Groups 3 and 4.
  5. Give consideration to suspending or minimisation of incoming international passenger flights during the current outbreak. Protecting space at MIQ facilities and avoiding simultaneous border failures.

Here’s the full discussion at Public Health Expert.

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