6,137 community Covid cases; 205 in hospital; 2 in ICU

A person with Covid-19 has died in a New Zealand hospital.

The Ministry of Health has announced there are 6137 community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, with 205 Covid patients in hospital and two in ICU.

One person with Covid has died in hospital.

Increasing numbers of cases and hospitalisations are another reminder that vaccination is our best defence against the virus, the ministry says.

There is growing evidence that three doses of Pfizer is protective against infection and symptomatic infection for Omicron.

We are strongly encouraging people to get a booster dose if it has been more than three months since their second dose.

There were 24,632 booster doses administered across the motu yesterday and overall, around 68.2% of the eligible population have received a booster dose.

Positive rapid antigen test reporting

The total number of cases reported will now include those identified from both RATs and PCR tests. A breakdown gives how many cases were identified using PCR and how many through RATs.

Today’s figure will include cases identified with RATs in the same midnight-to-midnight reporting period used for reporting positive PCR tests.

The Omicron public health response during Phase Two and Three operates on more devolved model to ensure health resources are focused on those who need it most. It is very important to the overall response that people self-report positive results for RATs, so we understand the size of the outbreak.

We’d like to thank the thousands of people who have already self-reported positive RAT results.

Based on overseas experiences, the Ministry of Health has been expecting the true number of community cases to be higher than the cases reported each day and this has been factored into our Omicron planning.

When assessing the outbreak, health officials typically review trends in the 7-day rolling average of community cases to understand the spread of the virus, as well as hospitalisations to understand severe COVID-19 illness and related impacts on the health system. Because we focus on the actual trend, any potential ‘undercount’ doesn’t significantly impact our assessment of the trend, and subsequent public health advice and decision-making.

Further information on RATS will be reported in coming days.

Covid-19-related death

Sadly, we are reporting the death of a patient with COVID-19 at Middlemore Hospital.

The family has requested that no further details be released and, out of respect for those wishes, we will be making no further comment.

Our thoughts and condolences are with the patient’s family and friends at this deeply sad time.

Covid-19 vaccine update

Vaccinations administered in New Zealand

  • Vaccines administered to date: 4,017,924 first doses; 3,955,733 second doses; 32,938 third primary doses; 2,248,153 booster doses: 232,359 paediatric first doses and 2,239 paediatric second doses
  • Vaccines administered yesterday: 536 first doses; 1,146 second doses; 136 third primary doses; 24,632 booster doses; 1,385 paediatric first doses and 150 paediatric second doses

People vaccinated, including those vaccinated overseas

  • All Ethnicities (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 4,060,799 first dose (96.5%); 3,997,213 second dose (95%), 2,249,809 boosted (68.2% of those eligible)*
  • Māori (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 518,452 first dose (90.8%); 497,159 second dose (87.1%), 188,490 boosted (57.5% of those eligible)
  • Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 280,301 first dose (97.8%); 273,994 second dose (95.6%), 112,815 boosted (55% of those eligible)
  • 5 to 11-year-olds all ethnicities: 232,276 first dose (48.8%); 2,259 second dose (0.5%)
  • 5 to 11-year-olds – Māori: 33,669 first dose (29.1%); 368 second dose (0.3%)
  • 5 to 11-year-olds – Pacific Peoples: 20,040 first dose (40.6%); 337 second dose (0.7%)