By RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission.
There are 105 new community cases of Covid-19 today, with the total number of Omicron cases reported in the community also now at 105.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health said 105 community cases of Covid-19 have either been confirmed as the Omicron variant or have been linked to a previously reported Omicron case – up 15 since yesterday.
It said there were active cases being treated as Omicron in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, the MidCentral DHB, and Nelson-Tasman.
“The number of cases and contacts are expected to grow given the highly transmissible nature of Omicron and as we learn more from case interviews.
“We’re asking everyone in New Zealand to act like Omicron is circulating in their community.”
There are four people in hospital with the coronavirus, with one in intensive care.
Today’s new community cases were in Auckland (76), Waikato (5), Tairawhiti (1), Bay of Plenty (9), Lakes (7), Hawke’s Bay (1), MidCentral (1), Nelson Marlborough (2) and Canterbury (3).
The nine new Covid-19 cases reported in the Bay of Plenty today include three cases announced yesterday, all linked to an early childhood centre in Tauranga. Five of today’s cases are also linked to this childhood centre. All eight are being treated as Omicron.
The ministry also said there was an exposure at a polo event held at the Trustpower Baypark stadium between 1pm and 6.15pm on 22 January, which was attended by a “large number of people”, including cases that are suspected to be Omicron.
There were also 45 new cases identified at the border, with cases coming from Fiji, Iran, USA, Italy, UAE, UK, Qatar, Singapore, Israel, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, India, Spain and Pakistan.
Yesterday there were 45 new community cases of Covid-19 and the total number of recorded Omicron cases in the community was 90.
There have now been 15,615 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand since the pandemic began.
The Ministry of Health yesterday confirmed there were five cases of Covid-19 from the Soundsplash festival and one of them was confirmed as having Omicron.
Health experts are warning that Soundsplash could become a Covid super-spreader event which seeds the virus around the country.
The West Coast has become the 17th DHB to fully vaccinate more than 90 percent of its residents with two doses.
There were 13,112 paediatric doses given yesterday. The Ministry said 29 percent of 5 to 11 year olds have now received their first dose.
There were also 1315 first doses; 2314 second doses and 46,827 booster doses given yesterday.
The ministry said it was vital that anyone in New Zealand with Covid-19 symptoms – no matter how mild – to get tested, even if they are vaccinated and to stay at home until they return a negative test result.
“We need to focus testing on those who are symptomatic and contacts of cases to ensure our testing centres don’t quickly become overwhelmed and so we can continue to support the public health response.”