How to Systematically Reduce the Border Failure Risk for COVID-19 in Aotearoa/NZ

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020 | tedla55p | No Comments

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Prof Nick Wilson*, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker

With the 2020 election over and with a newly elected government, it is an excellent time for a systematic review by NZ health authorities to identify optimal methods for reducing the risk of future COVID-19 outbreaks in Aotearoa/NZ. The persisting occurrence of cross-border incursions of the pandemic virus (five since 1 August, including a large outbreak in Auckland) highlights the need for such a review. In this blog we provide a framework for this systematic assessment and specific ideas for further risk reduction.

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Using a fun “Mask Day” at school to promote pandemic protection in the NZ community

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020 | tedla55p | 2 Comments

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

Whilst the New Zealand Government has recently recommended using face coverings or fabric masks as a strategy to contain COVID-19 pandemic virus transmission, the uptake of mask use in the public has been suboptimal. In this blog, we explore using “Mask Day” at school to promote positive public messages on masks, which may lead to increased public engagement of mask use within the wider community.

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Why a “mouth and nose” lockdown with masks might help avoid a “full body” lockdown at home

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 | tedla55p | 5 Comments

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Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Sophie Febery, Dr Ling Chan, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker

The concepts of an Alert Level system, household “bubbles”, and social event size limits are all valuable pandemic control measures. Nevertheless, better “source control” of COVID-19 at various Alert Levels by requiring masks in public indoor spaces could reduce the risk of outbreaks (should there be border control failures) and reduce the likelihood that we would need to move back to tighter restrictions and lockdowns with the associated adverse economic, social and mental health effects.

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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

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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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