The further increase in cases today is not unexpected given the ongoing spread of Omicron and wider testing achieved from the combined use of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and PCR.
These case numbers and hospitalisations are another reminder that vaccination is our best defence against the virus.
There is growing evidence that three doses of Pfizer is protective against Omicron.
We are strongly encouraging people to get a booster dose if it has been more than three months since their second dose.
There were 25,461 booster doses administered yesterday and, overall, around 68.8% of the eligible population have received a booster dose.
As always, anyone with any cold or flu symptoms that could be COVID-19 is asked to get a test and isolate at home until a negative result is returned and they are feeling well. Regardless of your test result, it is still important that anyone who is unwell stays home to reduce the spread of other viruses.
The most common early symptom of the Omicron variant is a cough, followed by a sore throat and/or runny nose.
If you need advice on managing your symptoms, or whether you should seek care, Healthline is the first port of call (0800 358 5453).
Rapid Antigen Testing
As the Omicron outbreak grows, RATs are now used as the primary test at all community testing centres.
The Omicron public health response is now in Phase Three and operating on a more devolved model to ensure health resources are focused on those who need it most.
It is very important to the overall response that people self-report positive results for RATs through My Covid Record, so we understand the size of the outbreak.
We’d like to thank the thousands of people who have been tested and already self-reported positive RAT results.
We are anticipating continued high demand for COVID-19 testing across the motu.
Although there are still significant global supply constraints, we have secured the delivery of enough RATs to help New Zealand through a widespread Omicron outbreak in the coming months.
Over the past two days, 5.2 million RATs arrived in the country. Another 10 million will arrive over the weekend, bringing our total supply to more than 22 million by Monday.
These tests are being shipped to community testing centres, GPs, and pharmacies across New Zealand. Critical services and businesses who need them as part of the Close Contact Exemption Scheme can also access them.
People who use a RAT will get their results within 20 minutes, which will help identify cases sooner, reduce testing wait times and minimise disruption to business and ensure critical services and infrastructure workforce can continue operating.
COVID-19 related deaths
Sadly, we are today reporting the deaths of five patients with COVID-19. Of these patients, two were cared for in North Shore, two in Waikato, and one in Tauranga.
Our thoughts and condolences are with the patients’ family and friends.
Out of respect, we will be making no further comment.
COVID-19 vaccine update
Vaccinations administered in New Zealand
- Vaccines administered to date: 4,018,429 first doses; 3,956,862 second doses; 33,134 third primary doses; 2,273,772 booster doses: 234,019 paediatric first doses and 2,417 paediatric second doses
- Vaccines administered yesterday: 523 first doses; 1,101 second doses; 179 third primary doses; 25,461 booster doses; 1,657 paediatric first doses and 178 paediatric second doses
People vaccinated (including those vaccinated overseas)*
- All Ethnicities (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 4,061,615 first dose (96.5%); 3,998,549 second dose (95%), 2,275,424 boosted (68.8% of those eligible)
- Māori (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 518,686 first dose (90.8%); 497,601 second dose (87.1%), 191,272 boosted (57.9% of those eligible)
- Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 280,437 first dose (97.8%); 274,201 second dose (95.6%), 114,353 boosted (55.6% of those eligible)
- 5 to 11-year-olds all ethnicities: 233,935 first dose (49.1%); 2,434 second dose (0.5%)
- 5 to 11-year-olds - Māori: 34,047 first dose (29.5%); 399 second dose (0.3%)
- 5 to 11-year-olds - Pacific Peoples: 20,228 first dose (40.9%); 354 second dose (0.7%)
*Note, that the number for “people vaccinated” differs slightly from “vaccines administered” as it includes those that have been vaccinated overseas.
Vaccination rates for all DHBs (percentage of eligible people aged 12 +)**
- Northland DHB: first dose (90.3%); second dose (87.8%); boosted (67.9%)
- Auckland Metro DHB: first dose (97.3%); second dose (96.1%); boosted (65.6%)
- Waikato DHB: first dose (95.3%); second dose (93.4%); boosted (65.3%)
- Bay of Plenty DHB: first dose (95.3%); second dose (93.2%); boosted (66%)
- Lakes DHB: first dose (93.6%); second dose (91.3%); boosted (66.7%)
- MidCentral DHB: first dose (96.8%); second dose (95.1%); boosted (71.4%)
- Tairāwhiti DHB: first dose (93.3%); second dose (90.6%); boosted (67.4%)
- Whanganui DHB: first dose (92.4%); second dose (90.4%); boosted (72.3%)
- Hawke’s Bay DHB: first dose (97.2%); second dose (95.1%); boosted (69.9%)
- Taranaki DHB: first dose (94.8%); second dose (93%); boosted (66.1%)
- Wairarapa DHB: first dose (96.7%); second dose (95%); boosted (73.6%)
- Capital & Coast DHB: first dose (98.7%); second dose (97.8%); boosted (76.4%)
- Hutt Valley DHB: first dose (96.9%); second dose (95.6%); boosted (73.2%)
- Nelson Marlborough DHB: first dose (96.8%); second dose (95.3%); boosted (75.2%)
- West Coast DHB: first dose (93%); second dose (91.1%); boosted (72.5%)
- Canterbury DHB: first dose (99.8%); second dose (98.6%); boosted (70.6%)
- South Canterbury DHB: first dose (95.4%); second dose (94.1%); boosted (73.6%)
- Southern DHB: first dose (97.8%); second dose (96.5%); boosted (73.5%)
**First and second dose percentages are for those 12+. Booster dose percentages are for 18+ who have become eligible three months after having their second dose.
- Cases in hospital: total number 237: Northland: 3; North Shore: 42; Middlemore: 83; Auckland: 85; Tauranga: 9; Hawke’s Bay: 1; Capital and Coast: 2; Hutt Valley: 7; Canterbury: 2; Southern: 3.
- Average age of current hospitalisations: 52
- Cases in ICU or HDU: 3
- Today’s vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region only, excluding Emergency Departments) is delayed due a technical issue.
- Seven day rolling average of community cases (PCR): 3,576
- Number of new community cases: 12,011
- Number of new community cases (PCR): 3,807
- Number of new community cases (RAT): 8,223
- Location of new community cases (PCR): Northland (46), Auckland (1,565), Waikato (388), Bay of Plenty (279), Lakes (23), Hawke’s Bay (54), MidCentral (112), Whanganui (13), Taranaki (37), Tairāwhiti (34), Wairarapa (10), Capital and Coast (182), Hutt Valley (85), Nelson Marlborough (79), Canterbury (355), South Canterbury (13), Southern (524), West Coast (6); Unknown (1)
- Location of new community cases (RAT): Northland (87), Auckland (6,403), Waikato (544), Bay of Plenty (338), Lakes (140), Hawke’s Bay (40), MidCentral (41), Whanganui (5), Taranaki (11), Tairāwhiti (18), Wairarapa (4), Capital and Coast (77), Hutt Valley (20), Nelson Marlborough (23), Canterbury (114), South Canterbury (5), Southern (343), West Coast (3); Unknown (7)
- Number of new cases identified at the border: 19
- Location of origin of border cases: South Africa (1); Full travel history not obtained (18)
- Number of active community cases (total): 39,413 (cases identified in the past 21 days and not yet classified as recovered)
- Confirmed cases (total): 39,413
* Please note, the Ministry of Health’s daily reported cases may differ slightly from those reported at a DHB or local public health unit level. This is because of different reporting cut off times and the assignment of cases between regions, for example when a case is tested outside their usual region of residence. Total numbers will always be the formal daily case tally as reported to the WHO.
- Number of PCR tests total (last 24 hours): 30,979
- PCR tests rolling average (last 7 days): 28,795
- PCR testing positivity (last 24 hours): 27.4%
- Number of Rapid Antigen Tests stock available in New Zealand: 6.9 million