Public Health Expert

Monitoring CO2 indoors for improving ventilation as a Covid-19 control tool

Public Health Expert Oct 27, 2021

Dr Ian Longley and Dr Julie Bennett* Poor ventilation in indoor settings is widely recognised as a risk factor for the airborne transmission of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes Covid-19. Virus-laden aerosols can remain airborne for hours in indoor spaces with low levels of ventilation. In this blog, we discuss how to use carbon dioxide (CO2) measures as a proxy … Read More

Reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission through the use of air purifiers

Public Health Expert Oct 26, 2021

Prof Mark Jermy, Dr Julie Bennett, Dr Jason Chen, Phoebe Taptiklis and Dr Caroline Shorter* Indoor environments increase the risk of transmission for the virus that causes Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) by containment and concentration of the airborne virus. However, to reduce such transmission, the particles that carry the virus can be diluted by bringing in as much outdoor air as possible. Read More

Is Funding Euthanasia a Health Priority for Aotearoa New Zealand: Part 2?

Public Health Expert Oct 22, 2021

Dr Ben Gray* Providing equity of access for assisted dying without equity of access to palliative care is to completely undermine the goals of the End of Life Choice Act. The choice is distorted towards aid in dying and away from palliative care. In this blog I will describe the detail in the Gazette Notice documenting the funding mechanism for … Read More

COVID-19 in Aotearoa: what does public health do now?

Public Health Expert Oct 18, 2021

Dr Belinda Loring, Dr Ruth Cunningham, Dr Polly Atatoa Carr* Public health activities have collectively made an incredible contribution to minimising the impact of COVID-19 in Aotearoa. But the work for public health is not over. As the situation in Auckland heralds a transition point in our approach to the pandemic, the challenge now is to be bold and clear … Read More

Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools

Public Health Expert Oct 11, 2021

Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ongoing community transmission of COVID-19. These include very high vaccination … Read More

The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ

Public Health Expert Oct 09, 2021

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this strategy, NZ would need to ensure tighter internal borders. Fortunately, … Read More

Using Rapid Antigen Tests to Improve COVID-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ

Public Health Expert Oct 07, 2021

Figure 1: Rapid Antigen Test kit given out freely from the NHS in the UK Dr Jennifer Summers, Assoc Prof James Ussher, Assoc Prof Nikki Moreland, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker* Most COVID-19 testing aims to identify infected people. To date, Aotearoa NZ has relied almost exclusively on Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs) for this purpose. Read More

Five actions to support New Zealand’s Covid-19 response, with a focus on Auckland

Public Health Expert Oct 03, 2021

Prof Michael Baker, Prof Sue Crengle, Assoc Prof Collin Tukuitonga, Sarah Helm, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Nick Wilson* Regardless of whether Auckland returns to Covid-19 elimination or transitions to a suppression approach, there are critical actions that can be taken to strengthen pandemic control measures, including: (1) Enhancing Covid-19 control in groups who experience deprivation and marginalisation; this is key … Read More

In May 2022 the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 expires: what then?

Public Health Expert Sep 30, 2021

Louise Delany* The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 (‘Covid Act’) expires on 13 May 2022. A further time-limited legal framework will be needed to support Covid policy. A new Bill will require public submissions and thorough consideration by a parliamentary select committee. The Government should begin discussions now with relevant groups, so that the new Bill is ready for … Read More

Making the Most of Masks

Public Health Expert Sep 17, 2021

Dr Nitasha Rimar, Dr Lucy Telfar Barnard, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Lesley Gray, Prof Michael Baker  Masks and vaccination have a central role in minimising the health and economic impact of COVID-19, regardless of the long-term strategy we use against the pandemic. These interventions depend on both good performance and high population coverage.  Here we update evidence on mask effectiveness and … Read More