New Corona virus contact-tracing recruiters have been asked to bring their own laptop to work as HSE laptops are not yet available, it has come out.
According to a list of guidelines seen by The Irish Times, new contact recruits will be rostered for work after shadowing other contact-tracking staff at one center.
Correspondence to recruiters “If you have a laptop, bring it. You may not need one while doing Shadow, but we still need one to work with as we are still waiting for HSE laptops ”.
On Tuesday night, an HSE spokesman said recruits would be asked to work on their laptops and that they would not be able to access the tracker system.
“We have asked some new contact-tracer recruits to bring their own laptops for training at one of our centers,” the spokesman said.
“As of last Friday, there were 270 new recruits, and the number of new laptops is not yet available.
This group of trainee contact tracers will not be able to access the Kovid Care Tracker live system until they have a work laptop. Kovid Care Tracker is a Microsoft cloud system on a secure server that is inaccessible to external devices.
“All new contact tracers will have a laptop before starting contact tracing,” the spokesman said.
Elsewhere, new HSE statistics show that the recent increase in case numbers has led to delays in contact tracing and times beyond the normal range.
In the seven days to last Thursday, the majority of positive cases took more than four days to complete the investigation and detection, according to figures released by The Irish Times.
This is the same period in which the pressure on the system required HSE to take over its own contact tracing of about two thousand people.
Data show that 53.2 percent of positive cases took more than 96 hours to be tested.
During this period, only 0.6 per cent of positive cases were completed within 24 hours and 16.6 per cent within three days. This is the time limit recommended by most experts.
“The significant increase in cases has put significant pressure on the contact-tracing system and increased the time it takes to return to normal,” HSE said in a statement.
For negative cases that do not require contact, the turnaround time was very fast. HSE said it aims to complete the process within three days for 90 per cent of the samples. Until last Friday, HSE’s contact-tracking system had “returned within the normal time frame”.
Meanwhile, the chief medical officer said it was too early to say whether Ireland had turned a corner in the management of Kovid-19. Tony Holohan said.
A further 720 cases were confirmed on Tuesday. More than a thousand cases were reported in the eight-day period. The five deaths were 1,890.
Separately, the HSE briefing of the Oriyachas Health Committee revealed the events that led to the decision to ask 1,971 people to do their own contact tracing.
During the months of August and September the system “works well” and in early October the increase in “quick critical” cases “exceeds the capacity set by our tracing system”.
Contact Tracers also reduced the number of questions people asked to speed up calls.
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