Today we are reporting 9,629 community cases and 493 current hospitalisations.
The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 7,246
We are sadly reporting the deaths of 24 people with COVID-19. These deaths occurred in the period since 14 April.
The rise in COVID-19 cases today is not unexpected as New Zealand moves towards the winter peak for respiratory illness, including COVID-19. In addition, it is not unusual for reported cases to rise following a weekend. It is encouraging that people are uploading their test results in My COVID Record, and the Ministry of Health and Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand would like to remind people to continue to do this. This is also a timely reminder for those eligible to get their booster vaccinations, and for those not yet fully immunised to start and/or complete their COVID-19 vaccination course. People should also get an influenza vaccination if they are not yet immunised.
People are also reminded to stay home if they are unwell, regardless of their COVID-19 test result. Staying home when unwell is one of the most important public health measures to prevent transmission of all respiratory illnesses.
The Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 has been detected in New Zealand for the first time.
The Ministry regularly assesses the latest evidence on variants to ensure that our public health settings are appropriate. At this stage, there is no evidence that BA.2.75 requires a shift in public health settings already in place to manage other Omicron variants.
On Friday afternoon, analysis of whole genome sequencing confirmed two cases in New Zealand with BA.2.75. Before testing positive for COVID-19, both cases had recently travelled from India, where this subvariant has been detected.
BA.2.75 is a recently identified second generation subvariant of BA.2, the dominant variant circulating in New Zealand at this stage. BA.2.75 has only been recently identified as distinct from BA.2, and evidence on its transmissibility, immune evasiveness and severity is still preliminary and emerging.
We do know BA.2.75 has some characteristics that looks like they may enhance its ability to evade immunity, similar to the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants, and there is some early evidence overseas that it may be slightly more transmissible that BA.2. There is no current evidence that it leads to more severe disease, although assessing the evidence is at a very early stage.
*These are new hospital admissions in the past 7 days prior to yesterday who had COVID at the time of admission or while in hospital, excluding hospitalisations that were admitted and discharged within 24hrs. This data is from Districts with tertiary hospitals: Auckland, Canterbury, Southern, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Capital & Coast, Waitemata and Northland.
Please note, the Ministry of Health’s daily reported cases may differ slightly from those reported at a District 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.
Today’s reported deaths take the total number of publicly reported deaths with COVID-19 to 1,591 and the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 15.
Of the people whose deaths we are reporting today: five were from Auckland region, three were from Waikato, four from Bay of Plenty, one was from Lakes, one was from Hawke’s Bay, one was from MidCentral, four were from Wellington region, four were from Canterbury, and one was from Southern.
Three were in their 40s, five were in their seventies, seven were in their 80s, and nine were aged over 90. Of these people, 14 were women and ten were men.
This is a very sad time for whānau and friends and our thoughts and condolences are with them. Out of respect, we will be making no further comment on these.
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