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‘Quality of contact tracing’ amid Melbourne outbreak is ‘remarkable’

The ability of Victoria’s health authorities to swiftly identify and quarantine COVID-19 positive cases is a testament to the state’s robust contact tracing system, says Deakin University’s Chair of Epidemiology Professor Catherine Bennett. 

Victoria recorded an additional three cases overnight, bringing the Whittlesea cluster’s total to 54. 

Amid fears the state’s circuit-breaker lockdown will be extended, Professor Bennett says the public testing rate will give officials confidence there aren’t any missing links in the present outbreak.

“It’s a remarkable story of public health response – the detail they have on these cases and how quickly they pull that together, and the public response,” she told Sky News.

“The testing is fantastic and that’s what’s actually going to make the big difference here to build confidence that we’re not missing more cases.

“We’ve now got a 2,400 strong workforce, we routinely got to contacts not just when we find a case, but their contacts as well and quarantine them straight away – that takes a lot of work, to identify them, to quarantine them and to release them if that intermediary case isn’t positive.

“We want to mop this up now, we want to use this lockdown really effectively to make sure we’ve got it all, but equally, I think that reassurance we have about the quality of the contact tracing is something we’ll take away from this outbreak.”

The ability of Victoria’s health authorities to swiftly identify and quarantine COVID-19 positive cases is a testament to the state’s robust contact tracing system, says Deakin University’s Chair of Epidemiology Professor Catherine Bennett.

Victoria recorded an additional three cases overnight, bringing the Whittlesea cluster’s total to 54.

Amid fears the state’s circuit-breaker lockdown will be extended, Professor Bennett says the public testing rate will give officials confidence there aren’t any missing links in the present outbreak.

“It’s a remarkable story of public health response – the detail they have on these cases and how quickly they pull that together, and the public response,” she told Sky News.

“The testing is fantastic and that’s what’s actually going to make the big difference here to build confidence that we’re not missing more cases.

“We’ve now got a 2,400 strong workforce, we routinely got to contacts not just when we find a case, but their contacts as well and quarantine them straight away – that takes a lot of work, to identify them, to quarantine them and to release them if that intermediary case isn’t positive.

“We want to mop this up now, we want to use this lockdown really effectively to make sure we’ve got it all, but equally, I think that reassurance we have about the quality of the contact tracing is something we’ll take away from this outbreak.”

The ability of Victoria’s health authorities to swiftly identify and quarantine COVID-19 positive cases is a testament to the state’s robust contact tracing system, says Deakin University’s Chair of Epidemiology Professor Catherine Bennett.

Victoria recorded an additional three cases overnight, bringing the Whittlesea cluster’s total to 54.

Amid fears the state’s circuit-breaker lockdown will be extended, Professor Bennett says the public testing rate will give officials confidence there aren’t any missing links in the present outbreak.

“It’s a remarkable story of public health response – the detail they have on these cases and how quickly they pull that together, and the public response,” she told Sky News.

“The testing is fantastic and that’s what’s actually going to make the big difference here to build confidence that we’re not missing more cases.

“We’ve now got a 2,400 strong workforce, we routinely got to contacts not just when we find a case, but their contacts as well and quarantine them straight away – that takes a lot of work, to identify them, to quarantine them and to release them if that intermediary case isn’t positive.

“We want to mop this up now, we want to use this lockdown really effectively to make sure we’ve got it all, but equally, I think that reassurance we have about the quality of the contact tracing is something we’ll take away from this outbreak.”

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