“The PHU is staffed with infectious disease specialists, whose job is to understand how diseases like novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread.

“At the moment in Queensland, we can still trace almost every case back to another confirmed case or high-risk activities, like having recently travelled overseas.

“The second stage of contact tracing involves getting in touch with people who may have been in contact with and infected by the person confirmed to have the disease.

“If it’s not possible to contact people one-on-one, we instead put out a public health alert with the details of the person’s movements, so the public can help us get in touch with those who might have come into contact with the person with the infection.

“We’ve done this where people have worked in shopping centres or attended university classes, and may have been in close contact with people they don’t personally know.

“There are a number of reasons why it’s not a good idea, or even legal, to give the public all the details about the movements of a confirmed case while they might have been infectious, if we can contact people at risk directly instead.

“If we told you that you’d possibly crossed paths with someone who is a confirmed case, it might actually cause negative impacts for you, even though you most likely haven’t contracted the virus.

“Releasing extra details about confirmed cases can also be unsafe for them [patients]. If we publicly released information … when we didn’t need to, it could impact their personal safety, the privacy of their family, and the security and success of their workplace.”

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