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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

Contact tracing is a vital part of our fight against COVID-19. Effective contact tracing helps to prevent potential onward transmission, raise awareness about the disease and its symptoms and supports early detection of suspected cases. Ensuring robust contact tracing is a priority piece of work for the Ministry. 

The Ministry commissioned Allen + Clarke on 18 April 2020 to undertake a rapid review of three Public Health Units  between 20 and 24 April 2020 to provide an overview of how Public Health Units are positioned for COVID-19 contact tracing. Limiting the number of Public Health Units reviewed enabled a rapid review and the Public Health Units that were selected represent a broad range of population characteristics and experience.

The final reports were provided to the Ministry on 8 May 2020.  This review builds on and complements the rapid audit undertaken by Dr Ayesha Verrall on the health sector’s strengthened approach to contact tracing for COVID-19 cases.

The rapid reports details the findings from each of the three Public Health Units and provides a summary of findings overall and nine recommendations for systemic improvements. The Ministry has accepted all the recommendations and to date has implemented eight of the nine recommendations. For the remaining recommendation (recommendation three) the Ministry is working alongside the PHUs to share learnings that are of value to the sector as part of ongoing Quality Improvement.