QR code scanning slumps to lowest levels since Delta scare

Wilson Longhurst
Source: 1News

Ministry of Health data shows New Zealanders have fallen out of the habit of scanning in, with the number of daily scans falling to numbers seen before the Wellington Delta case scare in June.

A generic image of a Covid Tracer QR code poster.

On Monday, 498,723 scans were recorded on the Covid Tracer app. It’s the lowest number of scans on the app since 22 June.

The following day, the Wellington region moved to Alert Level 2.

The recent scanning slump comes despite an update to the app this week, aiming at making it easier for users to add manual diary entries if they forgot to scan in.

The app refresh allows New Zealanders to enter favourite locations, choose an ‘I stayed home’ option, and opt in for reminders if there are consecutive days with no reported entries.

Use of the app peaked following the Auckland August cluster last year, when on a single day there were more than 2.5 million scans.

Since then, the highest daily tally was following the Valentine’s Day cluster at 1.85 million.

Epidemiologists have continually warned Aotearoa remains highly vulnerable to a community outbreak of the Delta variant.

University of New South Wales epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws says we need to get used to scanning, especially when it comes to Delta.

“If the authorities are trying to chase a bolting horse, they need to do it fast,” she told Breakfast.

“To help them track it down, you do need to do the QR code or sign in because [for] the poor old contact tracers, it’s a bit like looking for the enemy in the jungle and the enemy goes everywhere – they’ve got to be able to find your trace so please use it.”

Covid-19 vaccination rollout data released yesterday shows half of all eligible New Zealand adults have had at least one shot.

Almost 770,000 New Zealanders have had both doses and are fully vaccinated.