There is a "totally unacceptable flaw" in contact tracing and QR code systems as Shoalhaven residents are turning to social media to find out about lcoal COVID-19 cases, according to Kiama MP Gareth Ward.
Mr Ward said he was made aware of three locations in the Shoalhaven Local Government area where a positive COVID case has been detected via social media over the last week.
The Kiama MP is making an urgent call to Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard to speed up these systems so community members can find out about local cases through trusted sources.
He has made the call after eight new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the Shoalhaven on Monday, 6 September.
"Our community found out about these cases through social media and media reporting or the business owners advised their customers via email or media," he outlined in a letter to Minister Hazzard.
"For example, Bunnings Nowra had a confirmed case on the 31st of August. People who attended the venue still haven't received a text message to advise that they were a casual contact.
"Another example is a child care centre in South Nowra. They were advised of a positive COVID case by NSW Health.
"The centre emailed its parents and careers with this advice. Again, NSW Health have not advised people who checked-in using their QR code of this positive COVID case."
NSW Health identified Bunnings South Nowra as a COVID case location on Saturday, urging shoppers who were there during the window of concern on Tuesday, August 31, to get tested immediately and self-isolate until a negative result is received.
Mr Ward said the contact tracing and QR code systems should be automated and that receiving timely information from a "trusted source" is a matter of community safety.
"The process should be automated. Clearly this is not the case," he said.
"Flaws like this breed dissatisfaction and distrust and they fuel social media chatter which is fraught with scams and false information.
"If people are to rely on the NSW Health website as the 'one source of truth', this information must be timely and up-to-date."
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