Victoria moves to NSW-style contact tracing system

Chief Scientist Alan Finkel will take Victorian health officials to Sydney to study NSW's "gold standard" contact tracing, as Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton conceded that infection numbers outstripped Victoria's tracing capacity when the second surge took off in July.

The relative performance of the contact tracing in the two states has become a political flashpoint with Prime Minister Scott Morrison describing NSW as the "gold standard" and federal Health Minister Greg Hunt blaming shortcomings in Victoria for the extent of its crippling second wave.

Irene Anderson and her son, Sean, waited almost 60 hours to be notified by DHHS they were close contacts of a confirmed coronavirus case.Credit:Jason South

Rowville mother Irene Anderson waited almost 60 hours to be contacted by DHHS after her 40-year-old son Sean's disability support worker tested positive for coronavirus last week.

Ms Anderson said the worker "had done the right thing" and told the family he had contracted COVID-19, prompting her to quarantine everyone, including her husband who recently had prostate surgery for an aggressive cancer. All the family's test results were negative.

"In reality, the 48-hour time frame is still too long," Ms Anderson said. "The alerts to contacts need to go out much sooner, especially considering numbers are so much lower, and people are now having a much shorter list of contacts because of lockdown."

The Victorian opposition's David Davis said vulnerable members of the community, like Sean Anderson, were most at risk of the coronavirus and needed to be better protected.

"Daniel Andrews has not been honest with Victorians – our contact tracing system is still not fit for for purpose," Mr Davis said.

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