The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand.
Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to business premises, other organisations and public buildings. People can also register their contact information through the app to make sure the National Close Contact Service can get in touch if they need to.
“One of our key public health responses to COVID-19 is to identify, trace and isolate cases and close contacts to prevent further spread. This app will help us do that.The more Kiwis that download and use it the better placed we are to act promptly to keep other New Zealanders safe.” says Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Privacy and data security are incredibly important to New Zealanders. That’s why NZ COVID Tracer puts you in control of your information. “Any information you decide to record with the app will be stored securely on your phone and deleted automatically after 31 days. It’s your choice whether you share any of this information with contact tracers, and any information you do share will be used only for public health purposes and never for enforcement,” says Dr Bloomfield. “Like all mobile apps, NZ COVID Tracer will be updated over time as new features are developed.In the next release, NZ COVID Tracer will be able notify you if you have been at the same location at the same time as someone who has COVID-19 and will allow you to send your digital diary directly to the National Close Contact Service. “You will also be able to self-report any COVID-19 symptoms so you can be tested for the virus if appropriate and will be able to complete a daily health check-in through the app if you’re in isolation. “I encourage all New Zealanders to download the NZ COVID Tracer app to help protect yourself, your friends, whânau and community by making it easier to trace the people you’ve come into close contact with. The National Close Contact Service, which we established at the beginning of the outbreak, will continue to lead contact tracing in New Zealand together with our Public Health Units.
NZ COVID Tracer is available now from the Google Play Store and the Apple AppStore. Further information about the app can be found at www.health.govt.nz/NZ-COVID-Tracer.
Businesses and other organisations can generate QR Code posters through theMinistry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Business Connect service. Formore information visit www.business.govt.nz/covid-19/contact-tracing NZ COVID Tracer helps you protect yourself, your friends, your whānau and your community by enabling faster contact tracing.
What impact will the app have on contact tracing?
The more New Zealanders who download and use NZ COVID Tracer, the more effective it will be. The information we receive from the app will enable faster contact tracing and make it easier to get in touch with people when we need to.
However, technologies like NZ COVID Tracer are just one part of contact tracing and are designed to support rather than replace existing contact tracing processes.
Public health units (PHUs) and the National Close Contact Service (NCCS) will continue to lead contact tracing in New Zealand. PHUs have tripled their capacity and can now deal with up to 185 cases a day, while the NCCS now has more than 200 staff who can make up to 10,000 phone calls to close contacts.
Please click the Ministry of Health logo below to read the full details on the MOH website.