By RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission
There have been 13,606 new community cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today, with 263 people in hospital.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health said 9262 of the new cases were in the Auckland region.
The other cases are in the Northland (218), Waikato (1154), Bay of Plenty (690), Lakes (185), Hawke’s Bay (106), MidCentral (123), Whanganui (28), Taranaki (52), Tairāwhiti (48), Wairarapa (18), Capital and Coast (413), Hutt Valley (130), Nelson Marlborough (176), Canterbury (469), South Canterbury (20), Southern (505) and West Coast (3).
Five of the 263 people in hospital with the coronavirus are in intensive care.
Yesterday, 12,011 new cases were reported, double the 6137 reported the day before. Of Friday’s cases, 8223 were tested with Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs), while 3807 were PCR tests.
The Ministry said 2613 of today’s positive results were from PCR tests, while 10,993 were from RATs.
The Ministry has asked New Zealanders to please be patient with staff at testing centres and GP clinics.
“They are doing their best to cope with high demand for testing.”
RATs are now used as the primary test at all community testing centres and the Ministry said people who use a RAT will get their results within 20 minutes, which will “help identify cases sooner, reduce testing wait times and minimise disruption to business and ensure critical services and infrastructure workforce can continue operating”.
There were also six cases reported in MIQ today.
There have now been 70,652 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand since the pandemic began.
Read more: Covid-19 data visualisations – NZ in numbers
The Ministry said while 31,217 vaccine booster doses were given yesterday, 30.5 percent of people who are now due their booster have not yet had it.
“We urge those people to make a plan to get boosted as soon as they can.”
There were also 445 first doses, 1167 second doses, 146 third primary doses, 2263 paediatric first doses and 285 paediatric second doses given yesterday.
Today, Covid-19 modeller Dion O’Neale explained testing and data-processing backlogs are probably behind the sudden jump in cases.
This morning anti-mandate protesters began a march across Auckland Harbour Bridge, causing all southbound traffic lanes to close.
And the Grounded Kiwis group called for an end to rules requiring returning New Zealanders to isolate after arriving back in the country, even with a negative Covid-19 test.