Amsterdam to scale down contact tracing due to lack of staff amid spiking cases

In Amsterdam, the GGD (municipal health services) will be scale-down contact-tracing of coronavirus cases immediately. 

This is because there are not enough employees to keep track of all the infections, NOS reports.

Limits of contact tracing in Amsterdam and Rotterdam

Amsterdam and Rotterdam have emerged as the cities with a lot of new cases recently. The limits for contact tracing are being reached there, with employees reporting that they are feeling exhausted from the heavy workload.

The GGD Amsterdam wants to save time by temporarily not calling the contacts of people who tested positive.”In consultation with the RIVM, we have today started an adapted source and contact investigation. This means that we focus on risk groups and risk situations. All positives will, of course, be called, only that a shorter and less extensive conversation will be held.”

Contact tracing is a vital tool in keeping up with the spread of the virus. By checking the contacts of a sick person, the spread of the virus can be limited. Back in March and April, a similar situation occurred when various region’s contact tracing had to be stopped due to the high number of cases.

National contact-tracing efforts also stretched

The GGDs at a national level are also reaching a limit to how many contact investigations they can conduct. There are only enough employees to conduct 750 investigations a day. Yesterday, there were 600 new infections, meaning that the limit could soon be reached soon if cases continue to spike.

According to a spokesperson from the GGD GHOR, the capacity can be increased to 1000 examinations per day. However, those people will need to be recalled from their vacations or have to work late into the evenings.

In the meantime, GGD’s are busy training new people. The training usually lasts three to four weeks. The hope is to increase the current number of 1800 full-time jobs to 2300 total.

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Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad was born and raised in Brasov, Romania and came to the Hague to study. When he isn't spending time missing mountains or complaining about the lack of urban exploration locations in the Netherlands, you can find him writing at Dutch Review.

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