26 September 2023

Contacts completed so QTrace winds up

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The QTrace Central Contact Tracing Hub, established more than 15 months ago as part of the State’s COVID-19 pandemic response, has wound up its work.

Deputy Chief Health Officer, James Smith said hundreds of contributors from many Government Agencies had made up the hub, which was instrumental in keeping Queenslanders safe through contact tracing.

“For the first two years of this pandemic, we focused entirely on stopping COVID-19 from spreading in Queensland,” Dr Smith said.

“The QTrace team has been a crucial cog in that process, delivering a vital contact tracing service.”

He said the team ensured close contacts were quickly quarantined, reducing the risk of community transmission, and took pressure off local public health units.

“QTrace supported the efforts of public health units to keep COVID-19 numbers low until over 90 per cent of the State’s adult population was vaccinated and we could lift restrictions,” Dr Smith said.

“Our contact tracing network prevented an untold number of infections – its work has kept Queenslanders safe.”

He said contact tracing efforts were now more focused on outbreaks in high-risk settings, including residential aged care facilities, and following up cases in which new variants of concern were detected.

“This work is being managed by Queensland’s public health units, meaning QTrace staff can now return to their usual roles,” Dr Smith said.

QTrace was activated on 13 January 2021 and has traced more than 15,000 contacts and followed up more than 10,000 cases.

A number of QTrace staff were drawn from the Public Service Commission’s Employee Mobilisation Service, which was established at the start of the pandemic to ensure the workforces of lead Agencies like Queensland Health could meet increased demand.

The service worked with Queensland Health to source and train 363 Public Servants to perform critical contact-tracing functions.

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