The Ministry of Health is looking at ways to make sure Covid-19 information reaches young people, but it won’t include Dr Ashley Bloomfield dancing on TikTok or appearing on Tinder.
It comes as questions continue to mount about the effectiveness of the Government’s Covid-19 communication strategy after Case L, a KFC worker who went to work shortly before testing positive for Covid-19, claimed she wasn’t told to isolate .
But the Director-General of Health insisted multiple attempts had been made to try and contact the family.
On a lighter note, a reporter then asked him whether he would consider appearing on apps popular with younger people, including video-sharing platform TikTok and dating app Tinder.
“I’m not personally planning to either open a TikTok account nor make an appearance on TikTok,” he said.
He said he wouldn’t dance on a TikTok either.
“It’s the Prime Minister who dances especially when we get a series of zero [Covid-19 cases].”
As for Covid-19 messages on Tinder, Bloomfield said, smiling: “Definitely not Tinder.
“You would have seen some of the messaging to the big music festivals … I was very happy to be able to support getting that message out in formats I understand, talking to my children, resonated with people younger than myself.”
Jacinda Ardern had used Tinder to advertise during the 2014 election when she was campaigning for the seat of Auckland Central. Ardern was beaten by National’s Nikki Kaye.
"It was a long time ago now but I once put an election advertisement on Tinder, so I'm all for everyone using creative means of communicating - absolutely," Ardern told reporters earlier today.
Ardern, however, also ruled out appearing on TikTok.
"I don't think there is any possible way that I could do a TikTok with Covid messaging that would be seen as acceptable to any age demographic,” she said.
"Look, if other people want to use TikTok for messaging, then I by all means encourage it. … Just because we do or don't doesn't mean it's not useful."
Bloomfield did acknowledge the latest cluster in Auckland was in a community with a high population of Southeast Asians.
“We do translate all the essential information,” he said.
“We have got in this particular outbreak people not from our Māori or Pacific community where we have quite good contacts. They have Māori and Pasifika providers and they have good contacts through community leaders.”
Bloomfield said he wanted to look at ways to “strengthen” ties with other communities “just to make sure we’ve got all the channels we have to make sure the information is given out”.
“We do have a programme of trying to get out to these communities.”