People waiting for a Covid-19 test in Auckland CBD in November 2020 (Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Live UpdatesDec 19 2021

Five more omicron cases in MIQ; 55 new cases in the community

  • There are 55 new Covid-19 cases in the community, in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki.
  • Five more omicron cases have been detected in MIQ, bringing the total in New Zealand to 13.
People waiting for a Covid-19 test in Auckland CBD in November 2020 (Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Five more omicron cases in MIQ; 55 new cases in the community

  • There are 55 new Covid-19 cases in the community, in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki.
  • Five more omicron cases have been detected in MIQ, bringing the total in New Zealand to 13.
Dec 19 2021

Five more omicron cases in MIQ; 55 new cases in the community

There are 55 new Covid-19 cases in the community, in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki, the Ministry of Health reports.

Five more omicron cases have been detected in MIQ, bringing the total in New Zealand to 13.

Community update

  • Seven day rolling average of community cases: 71.9
  • Number of new community cases: 55
  • Number of new cases identified at the border: 8
  • Location of new community cases: Auckland (41), Waikato (4), Bay of Plenty (3), Taranaki (7).
  • Number of community cases (total): 10,220 (in current community outbreak)
  • Number of active cases (total): 1,902 (not recovered cases added in past 21 days)
  • Confirmed cases (total): 13,425
  • Cases epidemiologically linked (total): 7,539

Omicron update

Whole genome sequencing has now detected five further cases of omicron in international arrivals, taking New Zealand’s total to 13 cases with the variant.

Four of these cases remain in managed isolation. One has now recovered and been released.

The recovered case arrived from London via Singapore on 7 December.  This case tested positive to Covid-19 at day 0/1 and was accordingly closely managed in MIQ. They were never in the community while infectious.

As an added precaution, 30 other passengers on their flight are regarded as close contacts.  To date, 27 of these passengers have completed day 9 tests and returned negative results – testing is underway for the remaining three.

There are no other positive border sequencing tests outstanding from prior to the introduction of new omicron protocols on 16 December.

Health and MIQ teams have been carefully planning for omicron cases at the border and will continue to manage all arrivals cautiously. This includes isolation and testing requirements for all new arrivals, robust infection and prevention control and PPE measures at airports and MIQ facilities, and frequent surveillance testing of staff who have any contact with recent international returnees.

New precautions set out that whole genome sequencing on all new border cases of Covid-19 is undertaken rapidly to identify any new cases of the Omicron variant.

These measures also see all passengers on flights with omicron cases being required to complete all ten days at a managed isolation facility – rather than spending the last three days of their isolation period in self-isolation.

56 people in hospital with Covid-19

  • Cases in hospital: 56; North Shore: 10; Auckland: 26; Middlemore: 15; Waikato: 2; Tauranga: 3.
  • Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region wards only): Unvaccinated or not eligible (25 cases / 53%); partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose (6 cases / 13%); fully vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (12 cases/ 26%); unknown (4 cases / 9%)
  • Average age of current hospitalisations: 53
  • Cases in ICU or HDU: 6 (1 in North Shore; 2 in Auckland; 2 in Middlemore; 1 in Waikato)

Eight millionth Covid vaccine administered

The eight millionth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has now been administered in New Zealand. This includes first doses, second doses, boosters as well as third doses intended for those that are immune compromised. This significant milestone includes both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

MidCentral and Hutt Valley have now reached 90% first doses for Māori, becoming the fourth and fifth DHB areas to achieve this milestone.

Covid-19 case numbers imminent

The Ministry of Health is due to update the Covid-19 case numbers via media release some time after 1pm. We’ll have all the details here.