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24 new community cases, 2 in ICU – MOH

Today’s update on the COVID crisis, released today by the Ministry of Health.

The fully vaccinated accounted for the largest percentage of COVID cases in hospital, at 43% of cases. Partially and fully vaccinated accounted for 57% of all COVID hospitalisations.

Update on the MIQ worker in Auckland

The border worker’s household contact who returned a positive test yesterday is isolating at home.

Two other household contacts are symptomatic but returned negative tests yesterday.

The border worker’s co-worker who is symptomatic remains in MIQ and has returned a further negative test.

A further 15 contacts amongst the Stamford Plaza Managed Isolation staff are currently isolating at home as contacts of the border case and their co-worker.

The border worker’s whole genome sequencing links them to a person who arrived in New Zealand on a flight that landed on 8 January and tested positive on Day 3 of their stay at the Stamford Plaza.

As of this morning, a total of 84 contacts have been identified in relation to the MIQ border worker. At this stage, 79 have returned negative test results and one household contact has returned a positive result, who was reported yesterday. The number of contacts can fluctuate as further investigation rules them out.

Of the contacts identified in relation to the two bus journeys, there are four contacts yet to be reached. Two of these contacts have returned a negative test from following advice on the Locations of Interest web page or advice from a mobile phone notification. While these exposure events are a low public health risk, further efforts to reach all outstanding contacts are being made.

Worker at Auckland airport

A worker at Auckland airport, who is double vaccinated and has had a booster dose, tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday (18 January). Whole genome sequencing for this case will be returned today however from an abundance of caution, the case is currently being managed as an Omicron case.

This person was infectious from the 15 January, however they were not at work while infectious. The case has one household contact who has returned an initial negative test result.

The first of the locations of interest associated with this case are being published at Contact tracing locations of interest.

Omicron update

To date, there have been 370 Omicron COVID-19 cases detected at the border since 1 December, and 32 cases of the Delta variant.

There are also 203 COVID-19 cases caught at the border that are still undergoing Whole Genome Sequencing. The expectation is that the vast majority will be the Omicron variant.

During the same period, more than 18,000 people have arrived at Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities.


  • Cases in hospital: 24; North Shore: 6; Auckland: 11; Middlemore: 6; Tauranga: 1.
  • Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region wards only): Unvaccinated or not eligible (8 cases / 38%); partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose (3 case / 14%); fully vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (9 cases / 43%); unknown (1 case / 5%).
  • Average age of current hospitalisations: 57
  • Cases in ICU or HDU: 2; Middlemore: 1; Tauranga: 1


  • Seven day rolling average of community cases: 21
  • Seven day rolling average of border cases: 35
  • Number of new community cases: 24
  • Number of new cases identified at the border: 56
  • Location of new community cases: Northland (1), Auckland (14), Waikato (1), Lakes (5), Bay of Plenty (1), Hawke’s Bay (1), Hutt Valley (1).
  • Number of community cases (total): 11,360 (in current community outbreak)
    Cases epidemiologically linked (total): 8655
  • Number of active cases (total): 507 (cases identified in the past 21 days and not yet classified as recovered)
  • Confirmed cases (total): 14,874

COVID statistics and test results in New Zealand are determined by use of the PCR test.

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  1. If the cases are determined by use of the PCR test, then about 50% of them are the common flu. Considering that the PCR test can’t tell the difference between COVID-19 and the common flu, as per the US CDC.


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