The community omicron outbreak has grown by 34, with 90 cases now being confirmed with the highly infectious variant. That includes one person who attended the Soundsplash festival in Hamilton over the weekend and tested positive after returning to Auckland. Another four people who attended the event have also tested positive for Covid-19 in Auckland, and whole genome sequencing is under way to determine the variant.
“Anyone who attended the festival is asked to self-monitor for symptoms for ten days following exposure at the event, which is until Wednesday, February 2,” said the ministry.
So far, 68 people who attended the festival have been identified as close contacts, and this number is expected to increase. “Contact tracing staff are contacting these individuals, who are required to follow all public health advice regarding isolation and testing.”
Festival organisers said the event operated under the orange traffic light setting and vaccine passes were required. “There were minimal reports of individuals attempting to unlawfully enter the event,” said a spokesperson. A “small handful of instances” were notified to police present at the event.
Overall, including both delta and omicron cases, there are 45 new community infections being reported today while 51 new cases were detected at the border.
There are now active cases being treated as omicron in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Palmerston North, and Nelson Tasman. New cases were also confirmed in the community overnight in Canterbury and Gisborne. Neither have so far been linked to either the delta or omicron outbreaks and the numbers will be included in tomorrow’s Covid update.
“Public health teams are continuing to manage omicron cases in the community through rapidly isolating cases and contacts, contact tracing, and testing to slow the spread,” said the Ministry of Health.
Some of the cases now included in the omicron tally have been retrospectively linked to the variant through genomic sequencing, the ministry said. “Therefore, many are not included in today’s reported new Covid-19 community cases.”
Despite a pair of locations of interest in Queenstown, the ministry has not reported any omicron cases in the region.
In Tauranga, three more cases have been confirmed with links to an exposure event at the early childhood centre BestStart Pyes Pa on January 19. All three are being treated as omicron.
Meanwhile, the Wellington case reported yesterday has been confirmed as the delta variant.
Five people remain in hospital with Covid-19, including one person in intensive care in Rotorua.
Fifty-one new Covid-19 cases have been detected in MIQ facilities.