NSW Health contact tracing 'much smaller' as wider changes to COVID-19 public health response considered

NSW Health says it is contacting a "much smaller number of people" exposed to COVID-19 as Australia ponders even more significant changes to testing and isolation requirements.

In a response to questions from the Newcastle Herald about how contact tracing was operating in the state, NSW Health said it had changed its approach in recent weeks.

"NSW Health will be contacting a much smaller number of people exposed to COVID-19 to direct them into self-isolation under the public health order," a spokesperson said.

"NSW Health has previously asked people who have tested positive to COVID-19 to alert their family, friends and associates who they have spent time with, particularly in indoor settings.

"Most people who have been in contact with a person with COVID-19 in an indoor setting are told to get tested and self-isolate until they get a negative result.

"Whenever that negative test result is received, they can leave isolation, however, if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms after they leave isolation, they should immediately seek a PCR test and isolate again until a negative test is received."

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The Newcastle Herald is aware of positive COVID-19 cases in recent weeks where contact tracing has been all but nonexistent.

As cases keep rising, national cabinet will meet on Thursday to discuss whether to adopt a national definition of close contacts which could include only household members.

NSW and other states are also considering whether to cut isolation times for positive cases after the US and UK reduced their quarantine times to five and seven days respectively.

This story Contact tracing changes could just be the start first appeared on Newcastle Herald.