The Ministry would like to thank the many people who are reporting their Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) with more than 47,000 test results reported yesterday, of which 16,625 were positive.
We would again urge people to self-report RATs results, even if it is negative. If you are a household contact please still report your RATs results separately, even if other household members have already reported theirs.
The self-reporting of RATs helps provide a clearer picture of how the pandemic is progressing. It is essential we have as much information as possible to inform public health decision-making.
If you take a RAT you can report the result online through my COVID Record or by calling 0800 222 478 between 8am and 8pm. The Ministry is currently increasing the number of staff available to meet the demand from people seeking to report RATs results via the phone.
Further instructions for self-reporting RAT results can be found on the Unite Against COVID website.
We are continuing to see a high demand for RATs and the Ministry continues to assure people that we have good supply of tests.
Yesterday, 33,000 RATs order were placed through the RAT requester site. In the four days since the RAT Requestor went live, orders have given more than a million New Zealanders access to RATs. More than 8m RATs arrived in the country over the weekend, and we currently have 9.7m in our central supply.
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. If you need RATs for other reasons, such as travel, they can be purchased at a growing number of retailers.
We are reporting 17,522 community cases of COVID-19 today.
Care needs to be taken when interpreting daily reported cases, which are expected to continue to fluctuate. This means that the seven-day rolling average of cases gives a more reliable indicator of testing trends. The seven-day rolling average of cases is today 17,921, up from 17,272 yesterday.
The number of cases and hospitalisations is a reminder of the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted.
Being boosted greatly reduces the chances of getting severely ill and requiring hospital-level care if you contract 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 5,697 booster doses administered.
If you’re out and about, remember to wear a mask. Masks reduce the risk that you will both catch and spreading the virus.
With Omicron continuing to spread, your household may be affected soon if it hasn’t already. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you will need to isolate while you recover from the virus. Others in your household will need to also isolate with you until the end of your isolation period.
Ensure you have an appropriate amount of supplies before there’s a COVID-19 case in your household. In addition, organise with friends, whānau or neighbours to do contactless drop-offs of food and supplies as needed and/or discuss your medication needs with your local pharmacist ahead of time.
Being ready for getting COVID-19 is about making sure you and your household have a plan and know what to do. It will mean your whānau and community can help each other if needed.
This checklist on the Unite Against COVID-19 website can help you and your whanau make a plan.
We are reporting two COVID-19 cases in Chatham Islands today.
These two cases are already isolating and being supported on the Islands.
Canterbury DHB, which manages health services on the Islands, is distributing RATs to all households early this week, as a precaution to allow early detection of positive cases.
The Ministry would urge anyone who has not already been vaccinated and boosted on the Islands to do so to reduce the chances of getting severely ill and requiring hospital care if they get COVID-19. The Chatham Islands Health Centre is providing vaccinations today.
Note that the number for “People vaccinated” differs slightly from “Vaccines administered” as it includes those that have been vaccinated overseas.
*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
*While still early in the Omicron outbreak, the figures show that, based on the data available, unvaccinated people are four times over-represented in the current hospitalisation data. Just 3% of eligible people aged 12 and over in New Zealand have had no doses of the vaccine, however, of the eligible people in Northland and Auckland hospitals with COVID-19, 13% have had no doses of the vaccine.
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.