The increasing number of cases and hospitalisations is a reminder of the importance getting vaccinated and boosted.
Being boosted greatly reduces the chances you will get severely ill and require hospital care if you get COVID-19. Boosters offer a high level of protection against Omicron, so if it has been three months or more since your second dose of the vaccine, please get your booster.
Yesterday, there were 15,195 booster doses administered.
If you’re out and about, remember to wear a mask. Masks reduce the risk of a person both catching and spreading the virus.
The Ministry is also seeing reports of people who are symptomatic that are testing negative for COVID-19 in their initial test but later returning a positve test. Our advice is that even if you receive a negative test, you should stay at home until well and retest if symptoms persist or worsen.
Rapid Antigen Test Update
More than 130,000 orders were placed through RAT requester site for free Rapid Antigen Tests yesterday, covering more than half a million people, or about 2 million tests.
The Ministry wants to reassure people that we have enough RATs to help New Zealand through a widespread Omicron outbreak in the coming months. Over the past week, 8.8m million RATs have been distributed. Over the weekend, another 8m RATs are expected to arrive in the country with another 99 million confirmed for delivery this month.
There are 177 collection sites, 99 testing centres, and 30 providers supporting our priority population groups nationwide.
So, while we are anticipating continued high demand, our request is to, please, be patient and kind to each other and staff. They are working as hard as they can.
If you are symptomatic or a household contact, you can order RATs through the newly launched RAT requester site. You, or someone of your behalf, can collect your RAT order from a collection site listed on Healthpoint. Please only go to those sites that are listed as collection sites.
The priority for COVID-19 response for free RATs remains those who are symptomatic or a household contact. Please do not order or request RATs from testing centre or collections sites unless you are unwell or a household contact. International travel pre-departure testing is not covered under the public health response. If you are well, you can still purchase RATs from one of a growing number of retailers which stock them.
Deaths of five people with COVID-19
Sadly, we are today reporting the deaths of five people with COVID-19.
- A patient with COVID-19 passed away at Tauranga Hospital yesterday. The person was in hospital for an unrelated condition but had tested positive for COVID-19.
- A patient passed away at Waikato Hospital yesterday. The person died of an unrelated medical condition and had tested positive for COVID-19.
- A person in Dunedin who died of an unrelated medical condition yesterday while receiving palliative care and had tested positive for COVID-19
- Two patients who passed away with COVID-19 in Middlemore Hospital, on 1 March and 27 February. Both people had unrelated medical conditions and had tested positive for COVID-19
Our thoughts and condolences are with these peoples’ family and friends.
Out of respect for privacy, we will be making no further comment.
Some of these deaths are only being announced today as they have only recently been notified in the Ministry’s national reporting systems.
COVID-19 vaccine update
Vaccinations administered in New Zealand
- Vaccines administered to date: 4,020,752 first doses; 3,962,646 second doses; 33,775 third primary doses; 2,424,158 booster doses: 245,799 paediatric first doses and 4,215 paediatric second doses
- Vaccines administered yesterday: 315 first doses; 743 second doses; 99 third primary doses; 15,195 booster doses; 1,150 paediatric first doses and 223 paediatric second doses
- All Ethnicities (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 4,065,276 first dose (96.6%); 4,005,356 second dose (95.2%), 2,425,809 boosted (72.2% of those eligible)
- Māori (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 519,794 first dose (91%); 499,819 second dose (87.5%), 208,325 boosted (60.3% of those eligible)
- Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 281,031 first dose (98%); 275,094 second dose (96%), 124,751 boosted (59% of those eligible)
- 5 to 11-year-olds all ethnicities: 245,670 first dose (51.6%); 4,179 second dose (0.9%)
- 5 to 11-year-olds - Māori: 36,829 first dose (31.9%); 690 second dose (0.6%)
- 5 to 11-year-olds - Pacific Peoples: 21,704 first dose (43.9%); 525 second dose (1.1%)
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*
- Northland DHB: first dose (90.4%); second dose (88%); boosted (70.2%)
- Auckland Metro DHB: first dose (97.4%); second dose (96.2%); boosted (69.5%)
- Waikato DHB: first dose (95.4%); second dose (93.6%); boosted (68.2%)
- Bay of Plenty DHB: first dose (95.3%); second dose (93.4%); boosted (69.1%)
- Lakes DHB: first dose (93.7%); second dose (91.5%); boosted (69.6%)
- MidCentral DHB: first dose (96.9%); second dose (95.3%); boosted (74.6%)
- Tairāwhiti DHB: first dose (93.5%); second dose (90.9%); boosted (70.1%)
- Whanganui DHB: first dose (92.5%); second dose (90.6%); boosted (74.5%)
- Hawke’s Bay DHB: first dose (97.3%); second dose (95.3%); boosted (72.3%)
- Taranaki DHB: first dose (94.9%); second dose (93.2%); boosted (69.4%)
- Wairarapa DHB: first dose (96.8%); second dose (95.1%); boosted (76.2%)
- Capital & Coast DHB: first dose (98.8%); second dose (97.9%); boosted (80.5%)
- Hutt Valley DHB: first dose (97%); second dose (95.7%); boosted (76.8%)
- Nelson Marlborough DHB: first dose (96.9%); second dose (95.4%); boosted (76.8%)
- West Coast DHB: first dose (93.1%); second dose (91.3%); boosted (74.8%)
- Canterbury DHB: first dose (99.9%); second dose (98.8%); boosted (74.7%)
- South Canterbury DHB: first dose (95.5%); second dose (94.2%); boosted (76.1%)
- Southern DHB: first dose (98.1%); second dose (96.9%); boosted (75.7%)
*Partially and second doses percentages are for those 12+. Boosted percentages are for 18+ who have become eligible 3 months after having their second dose
- Cases in hospital: total number 562: Northland: 6; North Shore: 93; Middlemore: 186; Auckland: 148 ; Waikato: 49; BOP: 15; Rotorua: 6; Tairawhiti: 3; Hawke’s Bay: 3; Taranaki: 3; MidCentral: 9; Whanganui: 1; Hutt Valley: 5; Capital and Coast: 17; Nelson Marlborough: 3; Canterbury: 8; Southern: 5.
- Average age of current hospitalisations: 53
- Cases in ICU or HDU: 11
- Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region only, excluding Emergency Departments): Unvaccinated or not eligible (70 cases / 18.3%); partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose (6 cases / 1.6%); double vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (147 cases / 38.5%); Received booster at least 7 days before being reported as a case (73 cases / 19.1%); unknown (86 cases / 22.5 %)
- Seven day rolling average of community cases: 16,163
- Number of new community cases: 22,527
- Number of new community cases (PCR): 3,748
- Number of new community cases (RAT): 18,779
- Location of new community cases (PCR & RAT): Northland (515), Auckland (13,252), Waikato (1,674), Bay of Plenty (1,248), Lakes (464), Hawke’s Bay (325), MidCentral (364), Whanganui (79), Taranaki (257), Tairāwhiti (155), Wairarapa (69), Capital and Coast (1,356), Hutt Valley (577), Nelson Marlborough (304), Canterbury (1,163), South Canterbury (63), Southern (632), West Coast (16); Unknown (14)
- Number of new cases identified at the border: 8 (1 confirmed, 7 probable)
- Number of active community cases (total): 152,358 (cases identified in the past10 days and not yet classified as recovered)
- Confirmed cases (total): 187,964
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): 19,544
- PCR tests rolling average (last 7 days): 22,549
- Number of Rapid Antigen Tests dispatched (last 7 days): 8.8 million