Covid 19: Omicron surge – 454 new cases, 27 in hospital

There are a record 454 new cases of Covid in the community with 27 people now in hospital as Omicron continues to surge.

The record number also reveals the spread of the virus through the country. There are cases in Northland (12), Auckland (294), Waikato (72), Bay of Plenty (23), Lakes (8), Hawke’s Bay (7), MidCentral (5), Taranaki (1), Wellington (5), Hutt Valley (12), Wairarapa (2), Southern (13).

A case of Covid-19 has been confirmed in South Canterbury, the Ministry of Health said. There are now two active cases in South Canterbury. Health chiefs are urging anyone in the region who has any cold or flu like symptoms to get tested.

Today’s update comes as the Big Boost weekend public health initiative aims to encourage Kiwis to get their third jab.

“The Big Boost Week continues to see tens of thousands of people going out to get their booster dose each day. Yesterday, there were 57,364 boosters administered,” the Ministry said in today’s statement.

“It’d be great to crack some days up in the 80s, 90s, even crack 100,000, we can do that,” director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield earlier told the Herald.

There were eight new cases identified at the border today. The seven day rolling average of border cases is 28.

The seven day rolling average of community cases is 275.

The MoH has asked that only people with cold or flu symptoms, or people who have been at a location of interest, should be testing so thatcapcity is not overwhelmed at the moment.

“It is encouraging to see a high level of testing this week. However, it is important the right people get tested for the right reasons.

“There is good testing capacity throughout the country, but unnecessary testing could delay results for those who urgently need them.

“People should only get tested if they have cold or flu symptoms, if they have been at a location of interest, or if they have been asked to get tested by a health official.”

Tairāwhiti has reached two vaccination milestones today. Their eligible population reached 90 per cent fully vaccinated, the 18th DHB to do so, and it’s eligible Māori population reached 90 per cent first doses.

Of those in hospital two are in North Shore, 11 in Middlemore, 10 in Auckland, two in Rotorua, and one each in in Waikato and Christchurch. The average age is 52.

There were 24,820 Covid-19 tests across New Zealand in the last 24 hours.

This is up on the 7-day rolling average of daily national Covid-19 tests at 19,296.

The MoH is reporting there are 7 million Rapid Antigen Tests in New Zealand.

The breakdown of vaccines administered across the country yesterday was: 668 first doses; 1,518 second doses; 2,482 paediatric doses; 57,364 booster doses

There are a total of 3,303 active cases identified in the past 21 days not yet classified as recovered.

Last week, the Ministry of Health launched The Big Boost – a campaign encouraging eligible Kiwis to get their booster dose to further their protection against Omicron.

As anti-vaccine mandate protesters occupy Parliament grounds for the fifth day in a tense standoff with police, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins issued a press release yesterday announcing the number of jabs administered to Kiwis had hit the 10 million mark.

It was bolstered by a surge in boosters and “healthy uptake” in children aged 5 to 11 having their first does, he said.

“Kiwis have really pulled together to protect each other, with 95 per cent of people aged over 12 now fully vaccinated – one of the highest rates in the world. Sixty-one per cent of people over 18 who are due for a booster have already had one – and this is climbing quickly,” Hipkins said.

To boost access this weekend, many regions had extended opening hours and added sites to their vaccination programmes.

Auckland had more than 350 sites open, including the newly minted centre at the Cloud on the waterfront.

Northland, the only region yet to hit 90 per cent fully vaccinated, is hosting two Big Boost events today in Dargaville and Kerikeri, with further access for remote areas via mobile units.

Additional weekend booster clinics for essential workers will be held in Hawke’s Bay this weekend, and Southern DHB has extended opening hours of its drive-through clinic in Dunedin.

About 1.1 million people needed to get their booster in 17 days to reach 90 per cent by the end of the month – almost 65,000 per day.

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