Covid source and contact tracing basically halted; Only positive people being notified
With coronavirus infections in the Netherlands now standing at well above 6 thousand new positive tests per day, health service GGD is unable to keep source and contact tracing going. The service is already only calling people who tested positive, to find out who they had contact with, but worry that this too will soon have to stop, the Volkskrant reports.
Over the past weeks, the GGDs already scaled down their source and contact tracing to a "risk-based" method. A GGD employee still calls all infected persons and asks about their close contacts. During that 'index conversation', which takes about an hour, the GGD employee assesses whether the infected person is capable of calling their own contacts and informing them to quarantine. If not, the GGD does so.
But even that scaled-down form of contact tracing is reaching its limits. "We see that with pain in our hearts. We would prefer to continue having that conversation with all infected persons," Sonja Kloppenburg of umbrella organization GGD GHOR Nederland said to the Volkskrant.
The GGDs are able to do about 1,500 source and contact traces per day. The actual number of infections is already four times higher. This meant that a number of GGDs had to outsource their calls to people who tested positive to the call center that handles appointments and informs people when they tested negative.
"There is no upper limit above which the GGDs no longer conduct source and contact research. But it will end somewhere at such numbers,' Kloppenburg said to the newspaper about the high number of daily infections.