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56 community cases, 7 in ICU – MOH

A summary of the Ministry of Health COVID update today, numbers based on PCR testing.


  • Six new cases of Omicron have been detected in recent returnees in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
  • That takes the total number of international arrivals to New Zealand with the Omicron variant to 28.
  • Between the first Omicron case being reported to the World Health Organization on 24 November to 20 December, (the latest data available) 11,014 returnees to New Zealand have been through managed isolation at the border. Of those, 1,877 returnees have gone through managed isolation since whole genome sequencing first identified Omicron at the New Zealand border on 16 December.
  • Since 1 December, 45 COVID-19 cases have been detected at the New Zealand border, with 28 of those with Omicron.
  • 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.


  • Cases in hospital: 51; North Shore: 6; Auckland: 21; Middlemore: 21; Waikato: 2; Tauranga: 1
  • Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region wards only): Unvaccinated or not eligible (23 cases / 49%); partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose (5 cases / 11%); fully vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (10 cases/ 21%); unknown (9 case / 19%)
  • Average age of current hospitalisations: 50
  • Cases in ICU or HDU: 7 (1 in North Shore; 2 in Auckland; 4 in Middlemore)


  • Seven day rolling average of community cases: 59.7
  • Number of new community cases: 56
  • Number of new cases identified at the border: 4
  • Location of new community cases: Auckland (33), Waikato (6), Bay of Plenty (11), Lakes (4), Taranaki (1), Hutt Valley (1)
  • Number of community cases (total): 10,375 (in current community outbreak)
  • Number of active cases (total): 1,653
  • Confirmed cases (total): 13,219
  • Cases epidemiologically linked (total): 7,721

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