Covid-19 Omicron outbreak: 204 new community cases, 46 at the border; 1200 isolating at home in Auckland region

There are 204 new community cases of Covid-19, the Ministry of Health announced this afternoon.

Forty-six new cases of Covid-19 have been detected at the border and 16 people are in hospital with the virus, but none are in intensive care.

The average age of those in hospital with Covid-19 is 59.

Of the 16 people in hospital with Covid-19, four are in North Shore, seven are in Middlemore, two are in Auckland, one is in the Bay of Plenty, two are in Rotorua and one is in Christchurch.

A total of 1218 Covid cases are currently isolating at home in just the Auckland region.

Today’s community cases are in Northland (8), Auckland (135), Waikato (35), Lakes (2), Bay of Plenty (11),Taranaki (1), MidCentral (2) Wellington (3), Hutt Valley (3), Nelson Marlborough (1), Canterbury (3).

Of the eight cases in Northland, five in Kerikeri and three in Whangārei.

All eight Northland cases were investigated to determine any possible links to previously confirmed cases.

Of the 35 new cases in Waikato today, 22 are in Hamilton, five in Cambridge, two in Ōhaupō, one in Taupiri, and one in Morrinsville.

The locations of the remaining four Waikato cases are currently being confirmed.

There are two new cases in the Lakes DHB area – one in Rotorua and one in Taupō.

Both these Lakes cases have links to previously reported cases.

Eight of the Bay of Plenty cases are linked to previously reported cases, with the remaining three still under investigation.

There’s is also one new case in New Plymouth which public health staff are working to link to existing cases.

There are two new cases in Palmerston North, who are both household contacts of existing cases.

Of the six new cases in Wellington, three are in Porirua and being investigated for any potential links to previously confirmed cases.

The other three cases are in Hutt Valley and all are household contacts of existing cases.

There is also one new case in Nelson-Marlborough today, which is linked to a previously reported case.

The ministry officially reported three new cases in the Canterbury region however the third had registered a former Christchurch address but currently lives in Auckland and was being supported by public health staff there.

The other two cases are based in Christchurch and both were being investigated for links to previous cases.

The ministry said in a statement that all DHBs in the country had now reached the 90 per cent fully vaccinated milestone for Pacific Peoples.

Whanganui reached this milestone yesterday, it said.

The ministry said advocates, church groups, health providers and countless other entities across the motu had led the way in ensuring that New Zealand’s Pacific populations had some of the highest vaccination rates in the country.

Nationally, 97 per cent of eligible Pacific peoples aged 12 and older had now received their first dose and 95 per cent had received two doses.

For Māori aged 12 and older, 90 per cent had received one dose and 86 per cent had received their second dose.

Overall, across all ethnicities, 96 per cent of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, 94 per cent have received two, and 53 per cent of those due have had their booster.

On paediatric vaccines, 43 per cent of eligible children aged 5-11 have received their first dose of vaccine.

Twenty-four per cent of eligible Māori and 33 per cent of eligible Pacific children (aged 5-11) have received their first dose of the paediatric vaccine.

The seven day rolling average for Covid-19 cases detected at the border is 38.

Meanwhile, the seven day rolling average for community cases is 194.

In the past 24 hours, 15,972 Covid-19 tests were administered including 6962 in Auckland.

In total, there are 2209 active cases – which are cases identified in the past 21 days and have not yet recovered.

Yesterday, 812 first doses, 1772 second doses, 2209 paediatric doses, 60,537 booster doses where administered around the country.

'Big Boost' campaign, new locations of interest

Today marks the start of a national week called “The Big Boost”, the ministry said.

The initiative would make it as easy as possible to get their booster, with pop-up vaccination centres and extended opening hours, the ministry said.

The ministry urged eligible people in New Zealand to get their booster shot as soon as they could.

“A booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides a higher level of protection against severe disease or hospitalisation from the Omicron variant than the two-dose course.

“Being fully vaccinated with two shots provides great protection against Delta, but boosters are the best way to fight Omicron.”

“If you are 18 years or older and had your second vaccination at least three months ago, get your booster as soon as you can.”

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, the ministry said.

“The most common early symptoms of the Omicron variant are a sore or scratchy throat, and a runny nose. Even if you develop a small sniffle, please get a test.”

Meanwhile, a Hamilton cafe as well as a restaurant and a bakery in the Wellington region have been named as the latest high-risk locations of interest.

The Ministry of Health is due to reveal today’s case numbers at 1pm.

Indoor diners who visited Jacks Coffee Lounge in Hillcrest on Sunday between 9.50am and 10.50am need to self isolate, get a test and then again on day five after exposure.

The same goes for those who visited popular Asian restaurant Chow in Te Aro, Wellington, on Saturday between 12.34pm and 1.30pm and those who visited Clock Tower Bakery & Coffee Shop in Petone between 10.30am and 11.30am.

The new locations follow a warning to country from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to “prepare for winter”.

Latest forecasts estimate more than one million Kiwis will be infected with Omicron and hundreds will die within the next few months.

Meanwhile, 80 frustrated MIQ returnees have been told they cannot leave their Rotorua hotel yet because of delays in getting the results for their final Covid-19 test.

And protesters against the Covid vaccine mandate remain at Parliament, having ignored a trespass notice served by police today.

Yesterday there were 202 new cases in the community and 63 Covid-19 cases were detected at the border.

Fourteen people were in hospital with the virus with just one in ICU or HDU.

On Newstalk ZB this morning, Health Minister Andrew Little told Mike Hosking that he did not know how accurate modelling was.

“It’s helpful to a degree, it helps us prepare systems particularly in the health system about what might be coming down the pipeline – how accurate it is? I don’t know.”

This comes as new figures were released yesterday by Te Pūnaha Matatini under the new title of Covid-19 Modelling Aotearoa.

Modelling became a hot topic last week when findings from the United States-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicted New Zealanders could witness 50,000 infections by Waitangi weekend.

On Waitangi Day, 188 new community cases were announced with a rolling seven-day average of 170.

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