Updated modelling for transitioning out of COVID-19 restrictions recommends that jurisdictions with thousands of infections keep medium level preventative measures in place until an 80 per cent vaccination threshold is met.
This means states like NSW and Victoria are recommended to maintain medium public health and social measures to minimise the likelihood of a rapid spread of the disease.
Director of epidemiology at the Doherty Institute Professor Jodie McVernon said medium level preventative measures included staying home except for work, study and essential purposes, retail and hospitality open with density restrictions, indoor recreational venues closed, small numbers of household visitors allowed and a closed or graduated return to schools.
"Those that are coming into the 70 per cent mark with thousands of infections should aim to keep case numbers as low as possible by continuing to suppress epidemic growth," she said.
"Medium restrictions would continue to do that until they got to at least the 80 per cent threshold.
"So the obvious conclusion that mapped back to our original recommendations is that jurisdictions should look at the situation they're in, they should look at how their infections are being controlled with the measures they've got in place."
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The new modelling showed likely outcomes if there were hundreds and thousands of cases already in the community, whereas the original modelling was based on what would happen if there was only 30 cases of community transmission.
Professor McVernon said the original modelling was "robust", but since then the situation had changed in NSW and Victoria.
"At the 70 per cent threshold, starting off with thousands of cases, meant that in this window ... between 70 and 80 per cent ... there was the opportunity for cases to grow more rapidly," she said.
"The ultimate size of the epidemic was bigger in that situation."
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