Photos: Getty Images

Live UpdatesJan 29 2022

PM deemed close contact of omicron case, 97 new community cases

  • The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has entered self-isolation after sharing a flight from Kerikeri to Auckland with an omicron case last weekend.
  • There are 97 new community cases of Covid-19 today.
  • Only 11 more cases since yesterday have been confirmed as omicron, taking the total to to 116, but that is expected to grow.
  • There are cases being treated as omicron in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, MidCentral, Canterbury, Tairāwhiti and Nelson-Tasman.
  • 39 cases have now been connected to the Soundsplash festival in Hamilton, including cases in Northland, Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay.
Photos: Getty Images

PM deemed close contact of omicron case, 97 new community cases

  • The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has entered self-isolation after sharing a flight from Kerikeri to Auckland with an omicron case last weekend.
  • There are 97 new community cases of Covid-19 today.
  • Only 11 more cases since yesterday have been confirmed as omicron, taking the total to to 116, but that is expected to grow.
  • There are cases being treated as omicron in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, MidCentral, Canterbury, Tairāwhiti and Nelson-Tasman.
  • 39 cases have now been connected to the Soundsplash festival in Hamilton, including cases in Northland, Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay.
Jan 29 2022

PM deemed close contact of omicron case, enters self-isolation

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has been deemed a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case, and has entered self-isolation in line with Ministry of Health advice.

According to a Ministry of Health press release, the exposure event took place on Saturday, January 22 during flight NZ8273 from Kerikeri to Auckland. Flight NZ8273 has been added to the Ministry of Health website as a location of interest this evening.

Whole genome sequencing for the case has been requested with an expected result tomorrow, said the ministry. “The result is expected to indicate that the case has been infected with the omicron variant and the public health response reflects this.”

All other passengers on board NZ8273 are also deemed close contacts and are required to self-isolate, get tested immediately and remain in isolation for 10 days following their exposure.

The prime minister is asymptomatic and is feeling well, said the ministry. She will be tested immediately tomorrow and will isolate until Tuesday.

The governor-general and members of her staff were also on board and are following the same isolation instructions.

The prime minister and governor-general were in Northland to do some advance filming at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for the Waitangi Day broadcast, at the invitation of the Waitangi National Trust, said the release.

97 new community Covid cases, omicron spreads to nine regions

There are 97 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, reports the Ministry of Health.

Only 11 more cases since yesterday have been confirmed as omicron, taking the total to to 116, but that is expected to grow.

“We’re asking everyone in New Zealand to act like omicron is circulating in their community,” said the ministry.

Fifty-eight new cases have been detected at the border. There are seven cases in hospital, none requiring intensive care.

Omicron now in nine regions

Two of the four community cases in Canterbury reported earlier in the week have now been determined to be omicron, said the ministry. This means there are now active cases being treated as omicron in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, MidCentral, Canterbury, Tairāwhiti and Nelson-Tasman.

“The number of cases and contacts are expected to grow given the highly transmissible nature of omicron and as we learn more from case interviews,” said the ministry.

39 cases connected to Soundsplash, with more to come

The ministry said that as of 9am this morning, there were 39 cases connected to the Soundsplash festival in Hamilton last weekend, and this number will grow as further tests come back.

“Given the increase in cases associated with Soundsplash, the Ministry of Health advises all attendees to get a test, if they have not already done so.”

Two Soundsplash cases in Northland

There are four new cases in Northland, three of which came in after the cut-off time and will be reported in tomorrow’s figures.

Three of the cases are in Whangārei and one case is in Kerikeri. All four cases are isolating at home.

Two cases are linked to Soundsplash, said the ministry. Whole genome sequencing will be carried out on these cases but in the meantime, Northland public health staff are treating them as if they are omicron.

Three new locations of interest in Whangārei have been added to the ministry’s website.

Three Soundsplash cases in Tairāwhiti

There are three new cases in Tairāwhiti today, all connected to Soundsplash.

Whole genome sequencing will be carried out on these cases but in the meantime, these cases are being treated as though they are omicron.

Three cases in Hawke’s Bay, one connected to Soundsplash

There are three new cases in Hawke’s Bay. One was announced yesterday and links to the Soundsplash festival have been established, said the ministry. It is being treated as omicron.

Investigations are continuing to determine links for the remaining cases.

Auckland, Waikato and Rotorua

There are 61 new cases in Auckland today, and 14 in Waikato. Of the Waikato cases, 10 have been linked to previous cases and four remain under investigation for links.

There are seven new cases in Rotorua, six of whom are contacts of previously reported cases. The remaining case is being investigated.

Eight new cases in Bay of Plenty, including three onboard container ship

The ministry is reporting eight new Covid-19 cases in the Bay of Plenty, including three cases onboard the Singapore-flagged Maersk Bogor container ship, which is currently under quarantine at the Port of Tauranga.

The ship arrived in port on Friday morning. Some of the 25 crew had experienced Covid-like illness, said the ministry, and testing returned three positive results in the 24-hour period to midnight last night.

No one has been allowed off the ship, said the ministry. It is due to leave port tomorrow.

The five remaining cases are in the western Bay of Plenty. Public health staff are awaiting the results of whole genome sequencing, but in the meantime, the cases are being treated as though they’re omicron.