Inquiry about contact tracing app: QR-code vs Bluetooth beacon

NSW Ministry of Health did not have the information requested.

Dear NSW Ministry of Health,

First of all congratulations to you and your ministry on your stellar response to COVID.

I would like to know if you have any available statistics on either the number of notifications, number of tests and/or number of cases found that are attributable in your region to contact tracing apps, as well as a breakdown of each of those due to the QR-code or the Bluetooth channels.

I am particularly interested in comparing between the utility of each of those two channels in any way possible.

My motivation, living in Switzerland, is that we currently have an app deployed here that exclusively uses Bluetooth, and little traction for a QR-code based system. The theory says such a system would be much more effective than Bluetooth. Due to your low number of cases, I expect you might only have anecdotal evidence but this would still give tangible data to share here.

Thank you very much for your help,

Yours faithfully,

Pau-Olivier Dehaye

Thank you for contacting the Ministry of Health GIPA inbox. This email
address is for GIPA Act (Government Information Public Access Act) related
enquiries only.

 

* For information related to COVID-19 please see NSW Health’s updated
advice and information on our [1]web page.  This includes the latest
updates, FAQs and a range of information for health professionals, as
well as a link to the NSW Government – Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage
that provides advice and information for community and businesses,
including information about COVID-19 symptoms, testing and social
distancing.

 

* For information relating to your health or medical records, please
contact the [2]Local Health District or health service where you or
your family received care.

 

* For all non- GIPA Act related enquiries, or if you would like to
provide feedback please refer to the NSW Health feedback page:
[3]https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pages/feed...

 

For all GIPA related enquiries, we will attend to your message as soon as
possible.

 

 

Thank you

NSW Ministry of Health GIPA team

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Dear Pau

Thank you for contacting the NSW Ministry of Health.

With regard to your inquiry the Commonwealth Department of Health is responsible for the information relating to the contact tracing app.

Please find there details [email address] or by post:
The FOI Unit (MDP 516)
Department of Health
GPO Box 9848
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Kind regards

Lisa Yozghatlian

GIPA Officer | Corporate Governance and Risk Management, Legal and Regulatory Services
NSW Ministry of Health | 1 Reserve Road , St Leonards, New South Wales 2065
www.health.nsw.gov.au

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Pau-Olivier Dehaye

Thank you for your response.

Can you clarify something for me? The QR-code system is integrated with the Bluetooth app, and QR-codes are produced and managed using the same system across Australia? The QR code part is not defined region per region?

Thank you

Pau-Olivier Dehaye

Hi Pau

NSW Ministry of Health doesn’t deal with the QR codes, its handled by Service NSW, there email is [email address]

Thanks
Lisa

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Pau-Olivier Dehaye

Dear MOH-GIPA,

I am getting back to you concerning QR-codes. Service NSW told me
( https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/i... )
that while they do generate the QR-codes, the data associated to them is entrusted with NSW Health instead. Could you reconsider my original request as it relates to QR-codes? Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Paul-Olivier Dehaye

Thank you for contacting the Ministry of Health GIPA inbox. This email
address is for GIPA Act (Government Information Public Access Act) related
enquiries only.

 

* For information related to COVID-19 please see NSW Health’s updated
advice and information on our [1]web page.  This includes the latest
updates, FAQs and a range of information for health professionals, as
well as a link to the NSW Government – Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage
that provides advice and information for community and businesses,
including information about COVID-19 symptoms, testing and social
distancing.

 

* For information relating to your health or medical records, please
contact the [2]Local Health District or health service where you or
your family received care.

 

* For all non- GIPA Act related enquiries, or if you would like to
provide feedback please refer to the NSW Health feedback page:
[3]https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pages/feed...

 

For all GIPA related enquiries, we will attend to your message as soon as
possible.

 

 

Thank you

NSW Ministry of Health GIPA team

This message is intended for the addressee named and may contain
confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient, please
delete it and notify the sender.

Views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, and
are not necessarily the views of NSW Health or any of its entities.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious...
2. https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/lhd/Pages/...
3. https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pages/feed...

MOH-PHEOEMS,

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Dehaye

 

Under public health orders some businesses and organisations in New South
Wales are required to keep a record of all staff, patrons and contractors
visiting their premises. Businesses that need to collect patron and staff
details must address this requirement in their COVID-19 Safety
Plan. Failing to collect complete and accurate patron details is a breach
of public health orders and may result in penalties. As of 1 January 2021,
hospitality venues and hairdressers must use the NSW Government QR code
system (developed by Service NSW).

 

More information about mandatory electronic check-in in NSW is provided on
the [1]NSW Government website.

 

When a new COVID-19 case is detected, contact tracing teams from NSW
Health need to find all close contacts of the new case as quickly as
possible to help stop or slow the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing
teams rely on businesses and organisations keeping complete and accurate
records of all patrons and staff, this way NSW Health is able to access
contact lists collected via the NSW Government QR code quickly and easily.
If tracing teams are not able to obtain reliable information, people are
unknowingly placed at risk and the virus can continue to spread throughout
the community. 

 

Electronic check-in methods (such as QR codes) are better than paper
records. Hand-written details can be difficult to read and need to be
turned into an electronic format for contact tracing purposes. Electronic
methods are also contactless and reduce physical contact between people. 

 

In addition to the NSW Government QR code, NSW Health accesses a range of
records for contact tracing, including non-Government QR codes and
membership lists. For this reason, we are unable to provide you with any
data regarding the number of cases or tests specifically attributable to
the use of the NSW Government QR code or QR codes in general.

 

Thank you again for writing.

 

Kind regards

COVID-19 Ministerial Team | Public Health Response Branch

1 Reserve Road, St Leonards, New South Wales 2065

Email: [2][email address]

 

 

I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which I live,
travel and work and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

 

Visit the [3]NSW Health website for the latest information on COVID-19

 

 

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Pau-Olivier Dehaye

Thank you.

Pau-Olivier Dehaye