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There are 23 new community cases of Covid-19 to report in New Zealand today, with the total number of Omicron cases in the community now at 56.
The Ministry of Health confirmed in a statement to the Otago Daily Times the Omicron outbreak had grown by 21 cases today, made up of 15 cases linked to events in Auckland, which includes the Nelson family, and six linked to the border.
However, most of the additional 21 cases had already been reported in daily updates as Covid-19 cases and had been identified as Omicron retrospectively either through whole genome sequencing or epidemiologically.
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The Ministry said there were also 36 new cases at the border
There are six people in hospital with the coronavirus in New Zealand.
Today's new community cases are in Northland (1), Auckland (12), Waikato (3), Rotorua (5), Capital and Coast (1), Nelson Marlborough (1).
The Ministry said there have now been 56 community cases that have been confirmed as an Omicron case through whole genome sequencing, or are a suspected Omicron.
This includes 44 cases that are linked to a family event and other associated events in Auckland on the weekend of 15 and 16 January. The 15 new cases being reported today are in Auckland, Taranaki, and Nelson Marlborough.
The number of cases linked to the three border workers reported earlier this month has doubled from six to 12.
There are now eight cases associated with the MIQ border worker first reported on 16 January, and three associated with the Auckland airport worker first reported on 21 January.
A Covid-19 case in Taranaki has also been linked to the January Omicron cluster and will be included in the case count tomorrow.
The Ministry said they were on the same flight as the air steward that is part of this cluster and has been isolating since being identified as a close contact.
All close contacts identified so far are in isolation and being tested for Covid-19.
One of the three new cases in the Nelson Tasman region is part of a household that has also been linked to the January Omicron clustery. The other two were detected this morning and are under investigation. The Ministry said they are being treated as suspected Omicron.
The Ministry said the number of cases and contacts is expected to grow given the highly transmissible nature of Omicron.
The Ministry of Health today confirmed an early childhood centre in Tauranga has been linked to a suspected Omicron case, first reported in the city yesterday.
The case was present at the BestStart Pyes Pa on January 19 and was likely infectious at the time.
All people present at the childhood centre at the time are being treated as close contacts, being asked to isolate, and get tested immediately.
Toi Te Ora Public Health is working with the Ministry of Education to establish a clear view on who was present at the centre on the day and is in the process of contacting those people.
No new cases are being reported on Bay of Plenty.
Today's new cases at the border came from UAE, USA, Australia, India, UK, Colombia, Qatar, Iran, Scotland, Pakistan, Fiji, Austria, Sri Lanka, Canada and Brazil.
Yesterday there were 25 new cases of Covid-19 in the community including 10 confirmed Omicron cases.
There have now been 11,564 cases in the current community outbreak and a total of 15,369 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand since the pandemic began.
Today, we are reporting 15,102 paediatric doses administered yesterday, bringing the total to 110,123.
There were 56,899 booster doses administered yesterday, bringing the total to 1,110,408.
Auckland has become the second DHB to fully vaccinate 90% of Māori.
South Canterbury has become the ninth DHB area to vaccinate 90% of Māori with a first dose. Several other DHBs are getting very close to this milestone.
Additional reporting Otago Daily Times