Another period of time of uncertainty with potential community transmission of covid. From RNZ,
One of the community cases has no known link to managed isolation. Officials will provide more information in another briefing later today, expected to be about 5pm.
The other community case is linked to the November quarantine cluster.
The imported case arrived on 9 November from Los Angeles, returned a positive test around day three and is in quarantine.
Hipkins says they do not have anything to say about any movement in alert levels at this stage. Any change would require a Cabinet decision and at this point they do not have the information to weigh in such a meeting at this point.
“We will know more about whether we need to have one of those in the next few hours.”
Hipkins urges people to take the standard simple precautions – mask wearing, washing hands, distancing.
I was interested to see this messaging on twitter about contact tracing from tech researcher Andrew Chen,
Latest scan count data from 10 August through to 11 November. Approximately 10-15% of people are scanning QR codes, everyone needs to keep track of your movements in the way that best suits you: take selfies when you go places, take digital notes, keep paper records, use the app.The app is one way to keep track of your records, with the benefit of you being notified quickly if your records overlap with a known COVID-19 case. But any method of keeping records is better than nothing, because it supports a rapid response and a rapid response saves lives.
Bad news about the stats, good to see the app being promoted alongside other methods of keeping track of our movements.
I live in the rural South Island. You still see sign-in forms in shops and hand sanitiser. I don’t notice the QR codes because I don’t have the app. I don’t see people doing much with any of those. I rely on eftpos transactions and my to do lists when I go to town to be able to track where I have been if I need to. Not infallible, but probably not too different from remembering to scan a QR code. What would be great would be a set of options that people can use that are clearly explained and accessible. At the moment it seems a bit Number 8 Wire.
I was disappointed to hear Wallace Chapman on RNZ talking on the Panel about contact tracing and referring solely to the app. Worse, the Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins did the same thing on RNZ at the next hourly news.
We should be better than this by now. Not everyone has the app, not everyone has their phone with them, not everyone has a smart phone. We need to learn a new set of behaviours, and make them attractive enough over the long haul (I’m assuming years not months).
The drop off in app usage us understandable, maybe we should be teaching people to use a range of techniques and tech, and finding the ones that work best for them that are sustainable over time. I’m sure the MoH wants everyone using the app because it’s easier for them, and faster when there is an outbreak, but given our low numbers some diversity here would be good.
Other developing news around potential weak spots in New Zealand’s covid management systems are the proximity of the new community case to an isolation hotel (next door).
MSM reporting of vaccine development and timeline was off with Stuff reporting two days ago that a vaccine could be rolled out early next year. RNZ has a more even handed and less sensational report today about the governments preparation. Getting people’s hopes up about an early vaccine is not going to help us with the marathon now required.