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“Do or do not, Contact Trace, There is no try!”

We have seen news report all over the media about the importance of Contact Tracing in the battle against COVID-19 and Corona Virus.

Yet there seems to be a very mixed response amongst businesses regarding how they handle this and even if they should be doing it at all.

While visiting businesses in my local area since we moved to Level 2 I have seen everything from no contact tracing to very strict application of the rules. What this highlights is the confusion, misunderstanding and even misinformation around what is required.

In one case when a customer refused to use a shared paper log and shared pen, the staff simply said “Ok come in” ????

What this highlights is a situation that we have seen with many aspects of the COVID-19 battle, that the government is running so fast trying to fight the virus, the implementation and application of the rules is not keeping up with the fast paced and every evolving situation. There are even mixed messages between government websites and then industry bodies come out with their own interpretation.

We feel there needs to be a clear and enforced protocol for Contact Tracing. I now it is not the Polices role to enforce this but they are part of the overall enforcement process in this battle, so perhaps they could be checking the contact tracing process in place when they are doing their visits to venues such as bars etc?

In a recent post on the WorkSafe website they listed the rules for the various business types (listed below) which seems pretty clear to me. In most cases this also extends to visitors and customers.

Across each business type there is one common rule:

“For contact tracing you are required to:  keep contact tracing records for all workers and those who carry out work for the business or service” 

– Retail
– Restaurants, cafes and soup kitchens
– Close contact and proximity businesses and services
– Businesses and services with a consistent group of workers and a fixed workplace
– Membership businesses and services
– Event facilities
– Indoor public facilities
– Courts and tribunals
– Requirements for funeral services and tangihanga
– All businesses and services

We are also seeing media reports related to privacy issues and the risks associated with some manual record keeping options like paper visitor logs. I posted about the risks I had seen first had in the post earlier in the week.

I feel the key to situation is to give clear instructions and then make sure they are followed.

If you are going to implement a Contact Tracing protocol then do it and do it right, or don’t do it all.

As Yoda would have said if he was fighting this battle – “Do or do not, Contact Trace, There is no try!”


Source – WorkSafe – COVID-19 Alert Level 2: Public Health Requirements – What you need to know



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