Bloomfield wanted longer time to quit Alert Level Two

Bloomfield wanted longer time to quit Alert Level Two

Sourced Content, Wellington, June 28, 2020

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield advised the government to stay in Alert Level Two for most of June, according to a review released by the government in a second tranche of documents relating to the Coronavirus response.

As part of the document dump, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet released the review of Covid-19 Alert Level Two controls yesterday (June 27, 2020).

Dr Bloomfield recommended that at least 28 days (two transmission cycles) are spent at the full version of Alert Level 2, before considering a move to Alert Level 1. Of the three options in the document, the earliest date to consider the move to Alert Level One was June 22, 2020.

However, the country entered Alert Level 1 on June 8, 2020.

Restrictive Approach

On May 11, 2020, the government received a report which outlined measures that were being considered to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading. It included potentially putting all people with Covid-19 in managed isolation facilities, as it is now being done at the border.

The document said that such a more restrictive approach might be justified at lower alert levels to prevent the risk of onward transmission to other family members and the wider community to prevent a return to Alert Levels 3 or 4.

“There is strong evidence that these people, who are meant to self-isolate and maintain physical distancing measures, are actually doing so, but we cannot be 100% sure,” the report read.

In another report on May 1, 2020, Dr Bloomfield indicated that he wanted anyone with Covid-19 during Alert Level 2 to be placed into managed isolation until they had recovered.

“Because of the increased range of movement’ under Level 2, a stronger approach would be required. In the event of a case being confirmed, I intend to require that person to enter managed isolation until such time they have recovered (shown no symptoms for 48 hours at least 10 days after onset). Similarly, their contacts will be required to enter self-isolation and will be actively monitored including up to twice daily visits to monitor their location and any symptoms,” he said.

Details of other issues discussed in the Document Dump follow.
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