There are 35 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today and another 24 cases detected in MIQ facilities. Video / NZ Herald
Health officials will not release the latest case numbers today, despite the growing number of Omicron cases at the border and fears that the infection could spread into the community by days.
The Ministry of Health chose to postpone the release of a statement until tomorrow, a move that was previously arranged last year.
The next Covid-19 update will be tomorrow at 1pm.
Covid Response Minister Chris Hepkins said today that 128,850 booster doses have been administered in the first three days since the eligibility change.
This week, people 18 and older were able to get a booster dose four months after the second dose.
“A booster dose is your best protection against Omicron, and most kiwis are now qualified,” he wrote on Twitter.
Yesterday there were 35 community cases ranging across the upper half of the North Island including Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Topo.
On Friday, there were 37 people in hospital, only three of whom needed critical care, one of the lowest rates in recent months.
At the same time, there were 24 new cases at the border. The ministry did not reveal the form in which the recent injuries appeared.
However, this week when there were 66 new cases in two days, the ministry said the probability is that Omicron will continue to be the most prevalent alternative at our borders.
“This variant of Covid-19 continues to have a significant impact globally, so it is not unexpected to see an increase in Omicron cases at the borders,” the ministry said.
Omicron increase imposes NSW limit on rotation
Omicron infections escalating across Tasman saw the NSW government introduce a new set of Covid-19 restrictions today.
This will mean banning singing and dancing in hospitality venues (including bars, clubs, nightclubs, pubs and restaurants), recreational facilities and major recreation facilities.
There will also be a pause for some non-elective surgeries.
The new measures will run until at least January 27 after 70,000 new infections occur within 48 hours.
Today, the state recorded a record 45,098 new cases and nine deaths from Covid in the past 24 hours.
A Covid-19 modeling expert said this week that New Zealanders can expect an Omicron outbreak in about 18 days if cases of the MIQ variant continue to rise.
University of Canterbury professor Michael Blank said the risk of Omicron entering the community was “extremely high” because daily cases at the border exceeded the number of new cases in the community.
Last night, our Department of Health allayed fears that a MIQ worker in Rotorua who tested positive on Wednesday may have contracted a highly contagious Omicron infection from the facility where they worked, saying genetic testing confirmed they had the delta variant and that it most likely originated in the community. .
The fully vaccinated worker was kept up to date with regular checks, and the nature of his work meant that he did not usually have direct contact with returnees.
Gas station exposure site
This morning, health officials listed a gas station in Otaki where police picked up a person with COVID-19 after leaving a property in Bay of Plenty where they were supposed to be quarantined.
A spokesman for the ministry confirmed that the police were called to help find an infected person who was found not to be self-isolating at his specified address.
BP Connect Otaki on the main highway is now a potential site for exposure between 4.24 pm and 4.32 pm on Friday, January 7.
Those who were filling up with petrol at the same time are advised to self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms for the next 10 days.
At the same time, the Department of Health declined to give more details about a possible second Super Distributor event on New Year’s Eve in Auckland.
Britomart Block Party has been identified as an interesting location with partygoers who saw the New Year in the venue being told to watch for Covid symptoms for 10 days after being exposed to the virus, and to be tested if symptoms develop.
It comes days after the nightclub Long Room on Ponsonby Rd was named as the site of exposure after someone with Covid attended a New Year’s party at a popular inner-city venue.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said that officials would not share more information about certain exposure events, other than what was detailed on the website of the sites of interest.
There are no compelling public health reasons to do so, the spokesperson said.
The advice for those who attended the Britomart Block Party was to get an immediate test and then self-monitor for symptoms 10 days after exposure, and to get another test if any symptoms develop.
People who attended the event were considered contacts, the spokesperson said, and there was a risk of transmission later.