Today we are reporting 6,223 community cases, 733 current hospitalisations, and 22 deaths.
The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 9,803.
Today we are sadly reporting the deaths of 22 people with COVID-19. All these deaths occurred in the past four days.
The Ministry of Health and Te Whatu Ora – Health NZ are closely monitoring the continued increase in COVID-19 positive cases and hospitalisations as part of our ongoing review and updating of the response to the current community outbreak.
The case, death and hospitalisation numbers emphasise the importance of everybody doing the basics well to help prevent infection and serious illness. In particular, people should stay home if they are unwell, take a rapid antigen test (RAT) and upload the result on My Covid Record, and isolate if positive or while still symptomatic.
If you’re heading out to pick up free RATs and masks, please check the Healthpoint website to find your nearest participating pharmacy – as not all pharmacies are providing this service. People can also continue to request free COVID-19 RATs kits online.
It is important to ensure you are up to date with all vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccinations. Many people are now eligible for a second booster dose, and flu vaccinations, which are free for many people.
Wearing a mask remains one of the best measures to reduce transmission of infectious respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
The more layers of protection people put in place - such as mask wearing, vaccinations, and staying home when sick - the more they reduce the risk of spreading respiratory viruses.
Even if you’re fully vaccinated, or have had COVID-19, continuing to wear a face mask is important in keeping you, your whanau and your community safe.
As a general rule, the Ministry urges people to wear a mask in public indoor settings outside the home and in poorly ventilated spaces, or when it is hard to physically distance from other people.
You must wear a mask on public transport and at transport hubs like airports and bus stations, inside public venues like museums and libraries, when visiting a health care service, and inside retail businesses like supermarkets and shopping malls.
Masking up is particularly important when around more vulnerable members of the community, especially those who are older, those in aged residential care and healthcare settings where appropriate.
From tomorrow, Monday 18 July, the access criteria for three antiviral treatments for COVID-19 will be widened to include a wider group of people at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 infection. This includes all people aged 75 years and over and those who have been admitted previously to an Intensive Care Unit directly as a result of COVID-19.
Nirmatrelvir with ritonavir (branded as Paxlovid), molnupiravir (branded as Lagevrio) and remdesivir, an infusion treatment (branded as Veklury) are antivirals used in the community and hospitals to treat people with early COVID-19 at risk of severe illness.
These antivirals reduce the risk of severe illness, which helps takes pressure off our health system.
Among other things, this means GPs will be able to provide “back pocket” prescriptions so that people at risk of acute respiratory illnesses can have their prescription ready should they test positive and can then start taking the medicine promptly.
*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.
COVID-19 vaccinations administered
You can also view a detailed breakdown of daily case numbers for each district since the beginning of the pandemic by clicking the ‘download’ button on the right hand side of this page: New Zealand COVID-19 data.
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 takes the total number of publicly reported deaths with COVID-19 to 1,827 and the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 22.
Of the people whose deaths we are reporting today: five were from Auckland region, two were from Waikato, one was from Lakes, two were from Hawke’s Bay, one from Taranaki; three from Whanganui, two were from MidCentral, one was from Wellington region, three were from Canterbury/West Coast, two were from Southern.
Two were in their 40s, one in their 50s, one in their 60s, five were in their 70s, eight were in their 80s and five were aged over 90. Of these people, ten were women and 12 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 today’s reported deaths.