2:00 p.m. – Regional update from the Ministry of Health
We continue to ask anyone in New Zealand with symptoms – no matter how mild – to get tested, even if you are vaccinated. Please stay home until you return a negative test result.
Locations of testing and vaccination centers across the country can be found on the Health Point website.
Please also continue to check for updated places of interest and relevant health advice, updated regularly on the Ministry website.
There are nine new cases to report in the Nelson Tasman area. All cases live in the same household.
Eight of these cases were notified after the ministry’s notification deadline and will be added to the official tally tomorrow.
Public health officials are investigating recent trips to Auckland as the source of their infections.
Case interviews are underway and places of interest will be added to the ministry’s webpage where contacts at exposure events cannot be identified.
There are 11 new cases to report in Auckland.
Health and social care providers are now supporting 712 people in the region to self-isolate at home, including 147 cases.
There is one new case in Waikato to report today. The case is in Hamilton and is currently being investigated to determine any links to previous cases.
Public health, primary care and manaaki providers in the region are caring for 15 cases to be isolated at home.
Today we are reporting eight new cases in the DHB Lakes region – all in the Rotorua area.
Seven of today’s cases are linked to previously reported cases and one case is still under investigation to determine any link.
All cases are isolated at home or in managed accommodation.
Today we are reporting three new cases in Hawke’s Bay, one of which was notified after the Ministry shut down and will be officially added to tomorrow’s case numbers.
1:55 p.m. – Full statement from the Ministry of Health:
The vaccine deployment in New Zealand remains our primary defense against all variants of COVID-19, including Omicron.
There were 37,967 boosters administered yesterday, bringing the total to 903,464, or 54% of the eligible population.
A total of 11,762 first doses of the Pfizer pediatric vaccine were given yesterday to children aged 5 to 11, bringing the total to 51,639.
We would like to thank the children who received their first dose yesterday and the caregivers who supported them. We encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.
To book a pediatric vaccine, you can:
Use health point asking your local doctor or pharmacy can immunize the local tamariki
Modification of isolation requirements
As part of the response to Omicron, at this point our public health teams are strongly focused on the early eradication of any cases of Omicron in the community.
To help deal with the increased contagiousness of Omicron, on an interim basis, the isolation time for all cases of COVID-19 is being extended to 14 days. It used to be ten days.
A similar change is being applied for close contacts where all close contacts will now be isolated for ten days. It was the last seven. These changes take effect from today.
Isolation periods for cases and close contacts remain under review and are expected to change as part of the response to a community outbreak of Omicron.
Palmerston North Omicron Case Update
Whole genome sequencing has confirmed that the case that tested positive in Palmerston North has the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
The case became symptomatic on Wednesday and returned a positive COVID-19 test result on Wednesday evening, with the WGS confirming Thursday evening.
The ministry would like to thank the individual for recognizing the symptoms of COVID-19 and getting tested.
Whole genome sequencing identified similarities to border cases identified in Auckland, but no direct link. He identified no links to cases at the Christchurch MIQ facility, suggesting the source of infection was offshore – either in the country they traveled from or during their trip to New Zealand – rather than transmission in the Christchurch MIQ facility where they stayed.
This case was discharged on January 16 (Sunday), after returning a negative test result five times throughout his stay.
They traveled on flight NZ550 from Christchurch to Auckland departing at 2:00 p.m. arriving in Auckland at 3:20 p.m. They then traveled on NZ5121 from Auckland to Palmerston North departing Auckland at 4.55pm. The case is considered contagious from Monday January 17, but if you have traveled on either of these flights, as a precaution, you are asked to take a test as soon as possible. If you are showing symptoms, you are being asked to get tested and self-isolate immediately. For further details, please contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
All place of interest associated with this case are considered high risk and anyone who has been to these locations at the times listed is urged to follow the advice on the website, including self-isolating and getting tested immediately.
A previously published location of interest associated with this case has been modified. Case visited ANZOR Fasteners on January 19th. They did not visit ANZA on this date as previously reported.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
- Vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible people): 3,994,037 first doses (95%); 3,906,620 second doses (93%); 36,348 third primary doses; 903,461 booster doses
- Vaccines administered yesterday: 1,211 first doses; 2,321 second doses; 495 third primary doses and 37,967 booster doses.
- Māori (percentage eligible): 508,398 first doses (89%); 479,172 second doses (84%).
- Pacific Peoples (percentage eligible): 275,239 first doses (96%); 266,366 second doses (93%).
DHB vaccination rate with active cases (percent of eligible people)
- Northland DHB: first doses (89%); second doses (86%)
- Auckland Metro DHB: first doses (97%); second dose (95%)
- Waikato DHB: first doses (94%); second dose (92%)
- Bay of Plenty DHB: first doses (94%); second doses (91%)
- Lake DHB: first doses (93%); second doses (90%)
- MidCentral DHB: first doses (96%); second doses (94%)
- Hawke’s Bay DHB: first doses (96%); second doses (93%)
- Wairarapa DHB: first doses (96%); second doses (94%)
- Capital and Coast DHB: First doses (98%); second doses (97%)
- Hutt Valley DHB: first doses (96%); second doses (94%)
- Nelson Marlborough Early doses (96%); second doses (94%)
- Canterbury DHB: first doses (99%); second doses (97%)
- Hospitalized cases: 18; North Shore: 4; Auckland: 7; Middlemore: 7.
- Vaccination status of current hospitalizations (North Region services only): Not vaccinated or not eligible (4 cases / 24%); partially immunized
- Average age of current hospitalizations: 55 years
- Case in USI or HDU: 1; Middlemore: 1.
- Seven-day rolling average of community cases: 22
- Seven-day rolling average of border cases: 40
- Number of new community cases: 23
- Number of new cases identified at the border: 44
- Location of new community cases: Auckland (11), Waikato (1), Lakes (8), *Hawke’s Bay (2), *Nelson Marlborough (1)
- Number of community cases (total): 11,423 (in current community outbreak)
- Epidemiologically linked cases (total): 8,692
- Number of active cases (total): 488 (cases identified in the last 21 days and not yet classified as cured)
- Confirmed cases (total): 15,026
- Number of active contacts managed (total): 4,792
- Percentage that received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements): 78%
- Percentage that returned at least one result: 78%
1:51 p.m. – The Department of Health is reporting a possible new case of Omicron in Auckland. The person works at Auckland Airport and is not linked to any previously reported Auckland Omicron cases.
The worker’s infection was detected during a routine surveillance test carried out on January 18 and a positive result was returned yesterday.
Whole genome sequencing is underway to determine the variant, but as a precaution, it is being treated as an Omicron case. Investigations are underway to determine the source of the infection.
Testing of close contacts at home and in the workplace is ongoing. To date, one household member has returned a positive result and another has tested negative.
The case is considered contagious from January 16. Initial locations of interest are expected to be released today.
Our goal for all possible cases of Omicron is to eradicate the infection and prevent further transmission.