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Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: 1901 new community cases as surge continues

There are 1901 new Covid-19 cases in the community today as Omicron continues its surge – with active cases now in every DHB region of the country.

The number is a slight drop on yesterday’s record 1929 community cases, according to the latest Ministry of Health release. But the grim milestone of every health district dealing wth cases illustrates how contagious the variant is.

There are 11,601 active community cases across the country.

There are 76 people in hospital around the country and no one in ICU or HDU. The average age of current hospitalisations is 59.

The breakdown of new community cases across the country by region is: Northland (33), Auckland (1240), Waikato (249), Bay of Plenty (66), Lakes (11), Hawke’s Bay (22), MidCentral (12), Whanganui (10), Taranaki (10), Tairāwhiti (12), Wairarapa (17), Capital and Coast (38), Hutt Valley (31), Nelson Marlborough (40), Canterbury (40), South Canterbury (2), West Coast (1), Southern (65), Unknown (2).

There are 14 new cases at the border today, including five historical cases.

Meanwhile, more than 2.1 million booster shots have now been given nationally. More than 25,000 were administered on Friday.

The breakdown of today’s 76 cases in hospitals across the country is: Northland (1), North Shore (7), Middlemore (25), Auckland (36), Rotorua(1), Tauranga (3), Waikato (2) andTairāwhiti (1).

The seven-day rolling average of community cases is 1232.

There were 30,642 Covid-19 tests taken in the past 24 hours.

The rolling average of daily tests over the past seven days is 26,399.

There is a stock of 7.5 million rapid antigen tests available in New Zealand.

The Ministry of Health says that under phase 2 of the Omicron outbreak, those who test positive will get a text from 2328.

This text will contain an access code and a link to the contact tracing form to complete as well as information regarding self-isolation and general advice for cases.

“Completing this form as soon as possible will ensure we can alert people who have been potentially exposed and is vital in supporting the health response to Omicron under phase 2,” the ministry said.

“Most people with Omicron will have mild illness and won’t require additional support. Those who need more support whether it’s because they are unable to use the self-service technology or that they have high health or social needs, will receive supported assistance throughout their isolation period tailored to their individual needs.”

The most common early symptom of the Omicron variant is a cough, followed by a sore throat.

National case numbers in the Omicron outbreak have almost doubled since Wednesday, when 1160 community cases were registered.

As the Omicron outbreak continues to grow in scale, Aucklanders are being warned they could wait up to five days to get their Covid test results back.

The news has sparked concern over how long people will need to isolate even if they don’t have the virus.

Health teams say the delays are because of a large increase in demand from people going to get tested: 32,984 tests were completed in the 24 hours up to yesterday.

To continue to encourage booster uptake, the Ministry of Health is now reporting the percentage of the eligible population who have received a booster by DHB region.

Nelson Marlborough DHB has the highest booster rate across New Zealand at 73 per cent of eligible people aged 12-plus.

The three Auckland Metro DHBs and Waikato DHB have the lowest booster rate across New Zealand at 62 per cent of eligible people aged 12-plus.

Health teams asked those being tested to expect the delays and to not call Healthline or laboratories to check up on their delayed test results.

“There is still high demand at community testing centres in Auckland as case numbers rise, and we do understand some people are anxious at this time,” Matt Hannant, director of operations at the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre, said.

“However, this is putting significant pressure on laboratories and means that while some results are being returned within 48 hours, an increasing number are taking up to five days.

That means people could be isolating at home for up to five days even if they return a negative result.

The Ministry of Health has echoed the request for Aucklanders not to call Healthline for results as the service is not able to provide that information.

“We are continuing to experience high demand at Covid-19 testing sites, including from asymptomatic people who are seeking tests for their own reassurance,” the ministry said.

“It’s very important that you only get tested if you have cold or flu symptoms, have been identified as a close contact of a case, or have been asked to get tested by a health official.

“Unnecessary testing is resulting in long waits at testing centres and could also delay results for those who urgently need them.”

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