COVID-19 Contact Tracker Booklet

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COVID-19 contact tracing FAQs

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing involves tracking down all the people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and working with them to keep themselves and others safe. This helps prevent the spread of the virus by ensuring people who may be at a higher risk can take appropriate precautions and seek early healthcare if necessary.

What happens?

Regional Public Health use contact tracing to find people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Once a case has been identified, we trace people who may have been in contact with the case to see if they have become infected. There are two types of ‘contacts’ – close contacts and casual contacts. Contacts will receive advice based on what type of contact they are. This advice may include instructions for self-isolation and checking in on your health and wellbeing.

How you can help us

Please monitor your close contacts and keep a track of where you’ve been. Whether you’re using a contact tracing app such as the NZ COVID Tracer app or prefer to keep a diary of where you’ve been, who you’ve seen and any public transport you’ve used, you will help us greatly to do our job. The faster we can trace contacts, the faster we can prevent further spread of the disease.

DownloadCOVID-19 Contact Tracker Booklet

Close contacts

Close contacts are those that are likely to be at a higher risk of being infected.

‘Close contact’ is defined as any person with the following exposure to a suspect, confirmed or probable case during the case’s infectious period, without appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE):

  • direct contact with the body fluids or the laboratory specimens of a case
  • presence in the same room in a health care setting when an aerosol-generating procedure is undertaken on a case
  • living in the same household or household-like setting (e.g. shared section of in a hostel) with a case
  • face-to-face contact in any setting within two metres of a case for 15 minutes or more
  • having been in a closed environment (e.g. a classroom, hospital waiting room, or conveyance other than aircraft) within 2 metres of a case for 15 minutes or more
  • having been seated on an aircraft within 2 metres of a case (for economy class this would mean 2 seats in any direction including seats across the aisle, other classes would require further assessment)
  • aircraft crew exposed to a case (a risk assessment conducted by the airline is required to identify which crew should be managed as close contacts).

Further information

Last updated 10 September 2020.