92 new Covid cases, one in South Island

There are 92 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today.

Of these, 80 are in Auckland, two in Waikato, one in Northland , five in the Bay of Plenty, one in Lakes DHB and two in Taranaki. The one South Island case today is in Nelson-Marlborough. 

There are 79 people in hospital, including nine in intensive care.

The last day New Zealand recorded under 100 community cases was October 28, with 89 cases.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay are fronting a press conference today.

McElnay said there had been new wastewater detections in Gisborne. She reminded Kiwis to get tested if they have Covid symptoms and to stay isolated until they return a negative test.

Robertson said the nation had headed into the new traffic light system with high vaccination rates, with 93 percent of eligible people having had one dose.

Eighty-seven percent have had both doses of the jab.

Robertson said that of the five DHB regions yet to hit the 90 percent single dose mark, Lakes DHB was just 785 doses away, while the West Coast was only 284 doses away.

Robertson said some people had tried to portray New Zealand as a nation divided on vaccination, "but the numbers show that's not the case".

"We have come together once again to do this mahi and we should be very proud of the progress we've made."

When asked why there is still glitches and problems downloading My Vaccine Passes and rules under the traffic light system, Robertson said it was complex to work through setting so many rules for every business.

He said councils run public facilities but they do have the ability to make their own decisions about whether those accessing their services need to show My Vaccine Passes or not. He just asked that they communicated their requirements to the public clearly.

'No cause for alarm' in Nelson

Robertson said there had been excellent testing numbers in the Nelson region - about 1400 yesterday - and that meant officials were confident the virus was spreading as expected in the area.

McElnay said the public health unit in Nelson was working closely with the school and businesses affected in the area.

"It is hard to say whether we will get more cases," she said. "But at this stage we have no particular cause for alarm."

The Nelson region will remain at the orange traffic level - a move to red is not on the cards at the moment.

But Robertson said people with Covid symptoms were tending to go for tests quite late after getting symptoms. He urged them to get tested earlier.

Northland checkpoints

Robertson said police would be working with iwi at Northland checkpoints to monitor people coming into the area.

However, he emphasised they are police checkpoints, set up and manned by police.

Omicron variant

Robertson said the Government didn't have any advice that the Omicron variant would require a new system for managing Covid.

However, if new advice came through that showed it was more serious, officials would act on that, he said.

McElnay said it did appear the Omicron variant was more infectious but studies were ongoing to see whether it caused more serious illnesses and whether it can infect fully vaccinated people easier.

Health teams were constantly reviewing what was happening around the world, McElnay said, and would in particular check on Monday how the Omicron variant was travelling in South Africa.

She said there had been a lot of sharing amongst the scientific community and she was on the phone with colleagues in Australia and South Africa yesterday.

This meant officials could keep an eye on whether South Africa should be deemed a high risk nation for arriving travellers.

Covid information (source: Ministry of Health)

Hospitalisations

Cases in hospital: 79: North Shore (12); Auckland (34); Middlemore (30); Waikato (2); Tauranga (1)
Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region wards only): Unvaccinated or not eligible (44 cases / 56%); partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose (15 cases / 19%); fully vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (10 cases / 13%); unknown (10 cases / 13%)
Average age of current hospitalisations: 45
Cases in ICU or HDU: 9 (3 in Auckland; 3 in Middlemore, 1 in North Shore; 2 in Waikato)

Cases

Seven day rolling average of community cases: 145
Number of new community cases: 92
Number of new cases identified at the border: Five (and 1 historical)
Location of new community cases*: Northland (1), Auckland (80), Waikato (2), Bay of Plenty (5); Lakes (1); Taranaki (2); *Nelson Marlborough (1)
Location of community cases (total): Northland 85 (60 of whom have recovered); Auckland 8,117 (2,331 of whom have recovered); Waikato 478 (249 of whom have recovered); Bay of Plenty 67; Hawke’s Bay 1; Lakes 29 (5 of whom have recovered); Taranaki 8 (6 of whom have recovered); MidCentral 6 (3 have recovered); Wairarapa 3 (all recovered); Wellington 18 (all recovered); Nelson/Marlborough 15 (1 recovered); Canterbury 9 (5 of whom have recovered)
Number of community cases (total): 8,836 (in current community outbreak)
Confirmed cases (total): 11,992
Historical cases: 205 out of 9,818 cases since 1 January
Cases infectious in the community: 56 cases reported yesterday have exposure events
Cases in isolation throughout the period they were infectious: 97 cases reported yesterday have no exposure events
Cases epidemiologically linked: 46 of today’s new cases
Cases to be epidemiologically linked: 46 of today’s new cases
Cases epidemiologically linked (total): 6,557 (888 unlinked in the last 14 days)

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