Congratulations New Zealand, you've smashed the curve. So how do we keep it down?
The key is likely to be "contact tracing" and is why we are being asked to keep track of who we encounter, where and when. It's why you will be asked to give your personal details in some places.
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It needn't be your every move. The point is identifying, testing and isolating "close contacts" of any confirmed case.
Close contacts are people who have been in direct physical contact or been within 2m for 15 minutes or more, often members of the same household. Other examples of close contacts would not normally apply to most of us, such as those sharing a flight or in healthcare settings where Covid-19 specimens were being handled.
Typically there will be only a handful of people who are considered close contacts. For instance, a snapshot from the Ministry of Health from the period of April 13-27 identified 270 close contacts for 75 cases - an average of less than four per case.
Most Covid-19 cases in New Zealand have come from overseas. Once a case has been identified, the Ministry of Health and district health boards need to find the people who may have been exposed to the virus through contact tracing.
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Health services use contact tracing to find people who may have been exposed to an infectious disease. There are two types of "contacts" – close contacts and casual contacts, with health services gauging which and giving advice to both contact types on what to do.
If it's believed you may have been exposed to the virus, the Ministry of Health or the local district health board's Public Health Unit will be in touch. The phone call will usually come from (09) 801 3010.
After this initial phone call, details may be passed on to Healthline, which will make follow-up calls during isolation periods to check progress. The calls from Healthline will usually come from (09) 302 0408.
It's important to answer these calls and assist the process of beating this bug. Together, we can do this.