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Options vary in contact tracing

Gisborne businesses are managing contact-tracing guidelines well, the Gisborne Chamber of Commerce says.

As people go back to work in Covid-19 Alert Level 2, workplaces have to abide by contact-tracing practices and Gisborne Chamber of Commerce manager Lena Bevan says employers should be commended for the way they have adapted.

“The process would no doubt be challenging for some dependent on their product/service and what is already commonplace in their workplace practices.

“For others the adjustment may have just required a few tweaks to enable some form of business as usual — for instance, physical layout to allow for two-metre physical distancing.

“With adaptation and lessons learned we can certainly say we are more prepared for this new way of doing business.

“Thus far, those I have spoken to report that dining-in establishments are abiding by the rules and are all over the contract tracing, and the tables seemed spread out enough.”

Customers had reported they liked having one server.

“One venue said they were booked until the end of this week, so long may that continue,” Ms Bevan said.

“There are some innovative businesses creating apps for contact-tracing purposes which are being utilised by some businesses. However, if in doubt, the good old-fashioned pen and paper sign-in seems to be the norm.”

People should carry their own pen to avoid surface contact, she said.

She recommended reading the guidelines on keeping registers.

Registers should be secure, confidential and hygienic, and needed to be kept for two months.

“It is suggested that one employee be assigned to complete the register.

“This has been the case in some shops, with an employee outside the premises taking details and noting the number of shoppers entering.

“In some cases they have just taken note of the number of people entering and exiting the premises.”

There was some “differentiation” in regard to a ‘one size fits all' approach to contact tracing, she said.

“Some require immediate sign-in upon entry while others have no checks at all, regardless of how long you are in the shop and who or what you interact with.

“One business with no entry sign-in process did take our details once we made a purchase at the counter, but that was only half of our ‘shopping bubble'.”

The Government has released its “Digital Diary” contact-tracing app today.

“As regions reopen and people come together (within their respective physical distancing measures) we must remind ourselves that the purpose of contact tracing is to stop the spread of Covid-19,” said Ms Bevan. “It is important to keep track of people's movements.

“The Digital Diary may be a more streamlined system to more effectively track and trace our movements as a nation.

“This is for personal record-keeping only and will be required if any diagnosis or links to Covid-19 are found.”

Who needs to collect contact tracing information —

All non-retail businesses must record details of all people's movement on their premises. This includes employees, visitors and customers. Where practical, they should keep people one metre apart at all times.

Retail stores do not need to record details of their customers. They must still keep records of their employees and any visitors, such as maintenance workers or suppliers. Where practical, they should keep customers two metres apart at all times.

KEEPING TRACK: Civil Project Solutions (CPS) assistant project manager Zac Borrie signs a contact tracing register. CPS owner Russell Moylan said staff signed a register in the office on entry and exit and also had full contact-tracing sheets detailing where they had been and who they had interacted with. Picture by Liam Clayton