The Strong Case for Mask Requirements in Public Transportation and Border Control Settings in NZ’s Current COVID-19 Pandemic Context

Monday, May 11th, 2020 | tedla55p | 9 Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Sophie Febery, Dr Ling Chan, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker

In this blog we identify six likely benefits from requiring fabric mask use in public transportation and border control settings in the “peri-elimination” context that New Zealand is currently in. Given these likely benefits and the relatively low costs (especially if the Government provides free masks as per Hong Kong), such a policy should be given very serious consideration by health authorities in the transition to level 2.

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The need for a robust scientific definition for the elimination of COVID-19 from New Zealand

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020 | tedla55p | 4 Comments

Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Shaun Hendy, Prof David Skegg

New Zealand is making good progress towards its elimination goal for COVID-19 at the country-level. In this blog we present the case for a scientific definition of elimination to help guide our national COVID-19 response. The definition must be objectively verifiable, with appropriate levels of testing and surveillance systems in place. It should ideally be refined in collaboration with Australian health authorities, as part of a strategy of opening up our shared borders for easier travel between the two countries.

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What we would like to see on the Ministry of Health’s website to better inform progress on COVID-19 elimination

Saturday, May 2nd, 2020 | tedla55p | 12 Comments

Gordon Purdie, Nick Wilson, Michael G Baker

In this blog we analyse data from the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 website and display a key graph that we think should be routinely on that website. We also detail a potentially more useful way to categorise case data so that the public and research community can better track progress on the path to COVID-19 elimination. Both the graphical and tabular presentation of case data need to emphasise the critical distinction between imported cases (who should be safely isolated in supervised quarantine facilities) and transmission within NZ that would threaten elimination status.

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