Public Health Expert

Upgrade of NZ’s COVID-19 Alert Levels Needed to Help Regain NZ’s Elimination Status

Public Health Expert Sep 03, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker In this blog we comment on the current COVID-19 situation globally and in NZ. We focus on potential revisions to NZ’s Alert Level system that involve improved use of mass masking, targeted internal travel restrictions, and gathering/event limits. These interventions could all help accelerate rapid progress back to elimination status … Read More

Children and young people and COVID-19: The urgent need for improved guidance in NZ

Public Health Expert Aug 27, 2020

Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amanda D’Souza, Prof Michael Baker In this blog we consider the ‘Auckland August cluster’ in the light of the changing landscape of international evidence about COVID-19 risk for children and young people. The high proportion of Pasifika children and young people in the Auckland outbreak may be a preview of what an uncontrolled … Read More

NZ’s COVID-19 response compared to selected other jurisdictions: Australia, Taiwan and the United States

Public Health Expert Aug 26, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Andy Anglemyer, Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker Media discourse in NZ has involved comparing NZ’s COVID-19 response with a range of other jurisdictions, especially: Australia, Taiwan and the US. In this blog we update the data comparisons for these selected places. We find that Taiwan is the top performer with a … Read More

Using a fun “Mask Day” at school to promote pandemic protection in the NZ community

Public Health Expert Aug 25, 2020

Dr Ling Chan, Dr Sophie Febery, Prof Michael Baker, Dr Amanda Klasvig, Prof Nick Wilson Whilst the New Zealand Government has recently recommended using face coverings or fabric masks as a strategy to contain COVID-19 pandemic virus transmission, the uptake of mask use in the public has been suboptimal. In this blog, we explore using “Mask Day” at school to … Read More

Using the CovidCard to enhance protection from COVID-19 at the NZ border

Public Health Expert Aug 24, 2020

Dr Tim Chambers, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker Border controls are critical in preventing future COVID-19 outbreaks in NZ. In this blog we consider the recent announcements and cross-party support for the CovidCard’s use by border control workers and guests in quarantine and isolation facilities. We discuss how this is a promising move that should facilitate further improvements in … Read More

Reducing the health burden from contaminated drinking water in NZ: Opportunities arising from the new Water Services Bill

Public Health Expert Aug 10, 2020

Dr Tim Chambers, Prof Nick Wilson, Jayne Richards, A/Prof Simon Hales, Dr Mike Joy, Prof Michael Baker (author affiliations*) Increasing water-related health threats, notably the waterborne campylobacter outbreak in Havelock North, have highlighted failings in NZ’s regulatory system for drinking water. In this blog we consider how the new Water Services Bill might provide a framework to enable the new … Read More

E-bikes are the new cars- why don’t transport policy makers treat them seriously?

Public Health Expert Aug 04, 2020

Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak E-bikes are everywhere. Sales are booming and predicted to overtake sales of new cars in a few years. There were three times as many e-bikes and e-scooters imported into NZ in 2019 alone as there are e-cars in the entire country. You can’t go out in the city these days without seeing people having … Read More

NZ’s “Team of 5 million” has achieved the lowest COVID-19 death rate in the OECD – but there are still gaps in our pandemic response

Public Health Expert Jul 22, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Tim Chambers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker NZ has now achieved the lowest death rate from the COVID-19 pandemic out of 37 OECD countries and appears to be the only one to succeed with elimination at a national level. But despite the success of the “team … Read More

Weekly deaths declined in NZ’s lockdown – but we still don’t know exactly why

Public Health Expert Jul 10, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker The pandemic-related lockdown is possibly the most dramatic public health intervention in NZ history. It helped achieve the elimination of community transmission of the COVID-19 virus in NZ. But it was also associated with 548 fewer total deaths than for the same period in 2019. Death rates … Read More

COVID-19 and the law in Aotearoa NZ

Public Health Expert Jul 06, 2020

Louise Delany (public health lawyer) Health and emergency laws have played a critical role in this country’s successful elimination of community transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic. This blog details key aspects of the legislation and comments on issues around testing, payments by incoming travellers for quarantine costs, and mask use. The implementation of law relating to COVID-19 has meant that … Read More