91 new cases – 55 in Auckland; 58 in hospital; 4 in ICU

Photo Christo Anestev

MINISTRY OF HEALTH UPDATE

December 16, 2021

Congratulations New Zealand – we’ve reached the milestone of 90 per cent fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

As of 11.59pm yesterday, 3,789,662 of the 4,209,057 eligible New Zealanders aged 12 and over were fully vaccinated, with 3,969,267 (or 94%) partially vaccinated.

Today Whanganui has become the latest DHB to reach 90% partially vaccinated.

Seven DHBs in total have also now reached the 90% fully vaccinated mark, with a number of others expected to reach this milestone in the coming days.

Testing update

More than 82,000 rapid antigen tests have been dispatched to 531 pharmacies to date.

As of this morning, 256 of these pharmacies have received their tests and a significant number of those remaining are expected to receive their tests by the end of today.

Recent severe weather has disrupted deliveries to some pharmacies. We are working with our courier services to ensure deliveries can be made as soon as possible, with orders being prioritised for city centres, travel junctions and vacation hot spots.

All unvaccinated people who are asymptomatic and require surveillance Covid-19 testing for travel need to get a supervised rapid antigen test from a pharmacy, within 72 hours of travel.

This testing is for people over the age of 12 years and 3 months who are not fully vaccinated and do not have Covid-19 symptoms. This includes unvaccinated people travelling out of Auckland.

Rapid antigen testing at pharmacies is currently only available at no cost for people who are not yet vaccinated and need to get tested for travel.

Anyone with any Covid-19 symptoms is asked to get a PCR test at a community testing centre or their GP and to stay home until a negative result is returned.

The location and hours of pharmacies offering rapid antigen tests will be available from Healthpoint.

Covid-19 vaccine update

  • Vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible people): 3,957,272 first doses (94%); 3,775,269 second doses (90%); 22,754 third primary doses; 184,377 booster doses
  • Vaccines administered yesterday: 2417 first doses; 8156 second doses; 1708 third primary doses and 15,979 booster doses.
  • Māori (percentage of eligible people): 493,657 first doses (86%); 435,410 second doses (76%)
  • Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people): 267,554 first doses (93%); second doses 249,913 (87%)

Vaccination rates by DHB with active cases (percentage of eligible people)

  • Northland DHB: First doses (88%); second doses (82%)
  • Auckland Metro DHBs: First doses (95%); second doses (92%)
  • Waikato DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (88%)
  • Bay of Plenty DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (86%)
  • Lakes DHB: First doses (91%); second doses (85%)
  • Taranaki DHB: First doses (92%); second doses (87%)
  • Whanganui DHB: First doses (90%); second doses (84%)
  • Hawke’s Bay DHB: First doses (94%); second doses (88%)
  • Nelson-Marlborough DHB: First doses (94%); second doses (89%)
  • Canterbury DHB: First doses (97%); second doses (93%)

Hospitalisations

  • Cases in hospital: 58; North Shore: 9; Auckland: 27; Middlemore: 17; Waikato: 2; Tauranga: 2, Christchurch: 1
  • Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region wards only): Unvaccinated or not eligible (30 cases / 57%); partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose (9 cases / 17%); fully vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (10 cases/ 19%); unknown (4 cases / 8%)
  • Average age of current hospitalisations: 49
  • Cases in ICU or HDU: 4 (2 in Auckland; 2 in Middlemore)

Cases

  • Seven day rolling average of community cases: 84
  • Number of new community cases: 91
  • Number of new cases identified at the border: 4
  • Location of new community cases: Auckland (55), Waikato (7), Bay of Plenty (10), Lakes (1), Taranaki (16).
  • Number of community cases (total): 10,054 (in current community outbreak)
  • Number of active cases (total): 2220 (cases identified in the past 21 days and not yet classed as recovered)
  • Confirmed cases (total): 12,868
  • Cases epidemiologically linked (total): 7412

Contacts

  • Number of active contacts being managed (total): 6875
  • Percentage who have received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements): 84%
  • Percentage who have returned at least one result: 77%

Tests

  • Number of tests total (last 24 hours): 28,946
  • Tests rolling average (last 7 days): 25,059
  • Auckland tests total (last 24 hours): 11,270

Wastewater

A wastewater sample collected from Gisborne on 14 December detected the COVID-19 virus. This is the sixth positive wastewater result for Tairāwhiti in recent weeks, indicating there may be unknown cases in the community.

Anyone who has symptoms – no matter how mild – is asked to get tested, even if they are vaccinated – and stay home until they return a negative test result. For all testing locations, please visit the Healthpoint website.

There are no other new, unexpected wastewater results to report.

NZ COVID Tracer

  • Poster scans in 24 hours to midday yesterday: 2,966,020
  • Manual diary entries in 24 hours to midday: 40,291

My Vaccine Pass

  • My vaccine pass downloads total: 4,299,816
  • My vaccine pass downloads (last 24 hours): 38,774

New cases identified at the border

Arrival date From Via Positive test day/reason Managed isolation/quarantine location
10 December Singapore TBC Day 3 routine test Auckland
13 December Singapore TBC Day 0 routine test Auckland
11 December Nigeria United Arab Emirates Day 3 routine Rotorua
11 December Spain United Arab Emirates Day 3 routine Rotorua

Today’s cases

Today, we are reporting new community cases in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Lakes and Taranaki.

Regional updates

We are continuing to ask anyone in New Zealand with symptoms – no matter how mild – to get tested, even if you’re vaccinated. Please stay at home until you return a negative test result.

Testing and vaccination centre locations nationwide can be found on the Healthpoint website.

Northland

There are two new cases to report in Ruakākā today.

The cases are known contacts of a previously reported case and were already isolating when they tested positive.

A full list of testing and vaccination sites open in Northland can be found on the Northland DHB website.

Auckland

Today, there are 55 new cases being reported in Auckland.

Health and welfare providers are now supporting 1970 people to isolate at home, including 504 cases.

Waikato

There are seven cases to report in Waikato today – five are in Hamilton, one is in Te Kūiti and one case will be reported as in Waihi.

This person was tested outside of Waihi and will be isolating at home from today. At this stage there are no locations of interest to report in the town because any exposure events occurred outside of Waihi.

Four have been linked to previous cases and two are under investigation.

One new location of interest was confirmed in Matamata yesterday.

There are ten pop-up and dedicated testing sites operating throughout Waikato today with sites in Hamilton, Te Kūiti, Ngāruawāhia, Huntly, Taumarunui, Tokoroa, Putāruru and Ōtorohanga.

Public Health, primary care and manaaki providers in the region are supporting 68 cases to isolate at home.

Bay of Plenty

There are eleven cases to report in Bay of Plenty today. Of these cases, eight are in the Tauranga area, and three are in the wider Western Bay of Plenty.

Today’s cases are still being investigated for potential links to previously reported cases.

Contacts are being identified and will be contacted for testing and isolation advice.

Lakes

Today we are reporting one new case in the Lakes DHB region.

This case is in Rotorua and is a contact of a previously reported case. They were already in managed accommodation when they tested positive.

Taranaki

Today, we are reporting 16 new cases in Eltham. Fifteen of these cases were announced yesterday and are being officially added to our case tally today.

Public health officials are conducting interviews with the latest confirmed case to identify, isolate, and test any close contacts and determine any further locations of interest. Though initial investigations have confirmed this case is linked to previously reported cases in the area.

Earlier interviews with cases have already determined a range of locations of interest, which have been added to the Ministry’s website, with further locations expected. People in Taranaki are asked to monitor the Ministry webpage, which is updated regularly.

Testing and vaccination centre details across Taranaki are available on the Taranaki DHB website.

Changes to reporting timeframes

Today the Ministry is moving to a new 24-hour reporting period for new cases of Covid-19. Previously the reporting timeframe for Covid-19 cases was the previous 24-hour period between 9am and 9am. This has now changed to midnight to midnight.

This timing better aligns with DHB reporting and reduces the time spent reconciling case numbers between the Ministry and DHBs.

Today’s reported cases have been collated over a shortened 15-hour period (from 9am Wed – 11.59pm Wed) rather than the usual 24-hour timeframe as we transition to the new reporting period.  The impact on case numbers is expected to be minimal.

Media releases over the Christmas break

Over the Christmas break there will be regular Covid-19 updates published and tweeted each day apart from:

  • Saturday 25 December,
  • Saturday 1 January, and
  • Saturday 8 January.