Friday 7 August 2020

Things you wouldn't think need explaining, but somehow still do

The world's a puzzling place.

Maybe cognitive constraints bind a lot more tightly than I'd ever thought. 

The government runs New Zealand's managed isolation system for arrivals at the border. The Ministry of Health was making an awful mess of things, so the military took over parts of it. 

This week we learned that the government hasn't really been testing frontline isolation staff for Covid. They have an aspirational target of testing staff every two weeks, and do have more regular health checks for fever and the like. 

This seems like one of those things that anyone who's been paying the least bit of attention to the whole Covid thing might have already known, without a report. 

Just look at this. 
The Ministry of Health has seen the report and asked the authors to provide more details about the difference between a test every two weeks compared to once a week.

“You definitely get a lot of extra benefit from the weekly test as opposed to two weeks,” Hendy said. “The Ministry is certainly keen to understand the risks and how to manage it.”

Currently, there are tests available for workers who develop symptoms. Hendy concedes people shouldn’t be forced to take weekly swabs but strongly encouraged to do so.

“If those weekly tests are available then that drastically cuts the risk of them passing the disease undetected onto other people such as family members or others in the community,” Hendy said.

“It would mean we caught it early enough before it got passed on more widely.”
Just amazing. 

It's amazing that the Ministry has to be told that testing is a good idea.

It's amazing that the Ministry would assign ANY staff into these roles who would not be willing to undergo regular tests. It's stupid because the testing matters, and it's stupid because the kinds of people who would refuse to be tested are the last people you want anywhere near a freaking managed isolation system. What other corners would those Covidiots be happy to cut? Don't hire muppets in these roles! It's too important!

This thing is going to be around for a long time. Getting the border processes right matters. It's amazing that we haven't had an outbreak yet despite all this. 

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