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The Ministry of Health said this afternoon the cases were from Auckland (167), Northland (5) and Waikato (10). There were also three new cases at the border.
There are 93 people in hospitals including 10 in ICU or a high dependency unit.
There is also a new case in the Nelson-Marlborough region, however that will be added into tomorrow's cases as it landed after today's 9am deadline.
The Ministry said the person and their close contacts are in isolation, with testing of those contacts under way. Investigations into the possible source of infection are continuing. Several exposure events are being assessed and any locations of interest confirmed will be published on the Ministry’s website.
Following a border case in Christchurch yesterday, five close contacts are now self-isolating and being tested.
The person travelled from Auckland to Christchurch on Thursday, November 25 on Air NZ Flight NZ8475, arriving in Christchurch at 10.50am.
Anyone who is considered a potential contact of this case will be contacted directly. Unless you are contacted, you are asked to monitor for symptoms, and get tested straight away if you develop any consistent with Covid-19.
Meanwhile, an unexpected detection of the virus has been picked up in a wastewater sample taken in Opononi last week. There are five pop-up and dedicated testing sites operating across Waikato today in Hamilton, Ōtorohanga, Thames and Te Kuiti.
The Capital and Coast District Health Board has today achieved 90% of its eligible population fully vaccinated, becoming the second DHB in the country to achieve this significant milestone after Auckland DHB.
The Ministry of Health has now issued more than 2.4 million My Vaccine Passes.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will meet with Cabinet this afternoon ahead of a major announcement that is expected to see the country move into the new Covid protection traffic light system.
The Government's decision comes as a new variant of Covid gets closer to our doorstep, with two cases of the potentially more infectious Omicron strain in Australia confirmed yesterday.
The variant is spreading around the world, with new cases also found in Canada, the Netherlands and Denmark, as more countries impose travel restrictions to try to protect themselves.
The World Health Organisation says it is not yet clear whether Omicron, first detected in southern Africa, is more transmissible than other Covid variants and understanding the level of its severity "will take days to several weeks".
Self-isolating deaths potentially preventable: review
The Northern Region Health Coordination Centre says it has accepted the findings of a review into two people with Covid-19 who died while self-isolating alone at home in Auckland.
A panel found that the deaths in early November were potentially preventable and there were missed opportunities that contributed to the outcome.
The Northern Region Health Coordination Centre coordinates the Covid response for the three Auckland DHBs.
The findings provide insights that are supporting improvements to the Interim model for community home isolation system that is currently in place while the national policy and implementation of primary care-based support is being developed.
In line with the recommendations from the report, NRHCC have made changes in the last three weeks to scale and improve the system including:
• Immediate clinical assessment using information already available to quickly identify those who are high risk and needing special clinical, social or mental health support
• Door knocking for those not able to be contacted by phone, particularly those isolating alone
• Significant IT system improvements to better support the service
• The piloting of new models with Maori and Pacific providers who are able to provide holistic clinical, social, welfare and mental wellbeing support
• The establishment of a Clinical Governance Group with the purpose of identifying emerging risks and trends, so that issues can be addressed. The group has already met.
- NZ Herald and ODT Online