Today’s COVID numbers and updates from the Ministry of Health for 22 January 2022.
The Auckland Airport case has been confirmed as the Omicron variant. There are 43 new community cases.
All 8 of the current hospitalisations in the Northern Region have received the Pfizer vaccine, and once again, ‘fully vaccinated’ account for the largest proportion of hospital cases by vaccination status, with 7, and partially vaccinated 1.
There are no unvaccinated people hospitalised in the Northern Region with COVID today.
Palmerston North Omicron case update
There have been 76 contacts identified to date linked to the Palmerston North Omicron case. All but two have been contacted and 66 have returned a negative result. Further test results will be reported Sunday.
Worker at Auckland Airport confirmed Omicron case
Today the Ministry of Health is confirming the possible Omicron case reported yesterday is now confirmed as the Omicron variant. As announced yesterday the case was being treated as an Omicron case prior to this being confirmed. The case has been potentially linked to returnees in Rotorua and Auckland through whole genome sequencing. This information will assist investigations to determine the source of infection.
There have been 32 contacts identified, around half have been contacted and tested. As reported yesterday there has been one positive result reported in a household member and 16 other contacts have returned a negative result.
The Ministry’s objective for all possible Omicron cases is to stamp out the infection and prevent any onward transmission.
Nelson Tasman cases now linked to five flights
Five flights have now been linked to the nine cases in the Nelson Tasman region reported yesterday will be listed today as locations of interest.
An Air New Zealand crew member on the same Auckland to Nelson flight as the nine cases has now tested positive. This flight and four other flights the crew member worked on during their possible infectious period, prior to their testing positive, are now also listed as locations of interest. The flights are:
- Flight NZ 5083 from Auckland to Nelson at 5.20 pm on 16 January
- Flight NZ 5080 from Nelson to Auckland at 4 pm on 19 January
- Flight NZ 5077 from Auckland to Nelson at 2pm on 19 January
- Flight NZ 5049 from Auckland to New Plymouth at 7.50 pm on 19 January
- Flight NZ 5042 from New Plymouth to Auckland at 1.50 pm on 20 January
Air New Zealand report their crew member is fully vaccinated, and the positive case was found after the crew member felt unwell and was tested on top of the regular surveillance testing.
The flights are now listed as Locations of Interest on the Ministry’s website and advice to those on the flights is provided there. All those on the flights are in the process of being contacted and provided with advice.
Whole genome sequencing for the Nelson Tasman cases and the Air New Zealand crew member are expected later today.
The nine Nelson Tasman cases are all from one household.
Eight of these cases were notified yesterday after the Ministry’s reporting deadline and are today being added to the official tally. There are no additional new cases to report in the region today.
Case interviews continue with genome sequencing expected later today to identify the variant. Public health officials continue to investigate recent travel to Auckland as the source of their infections.
Locations of interest will be added to the Ministry’s webpage where contacts at exposure events cannot be identified.
Anyone who was on these flights and who has not yet been contacted should get tested and isolate at home.
Public health officials report a strong response to testing yesterday afternoon and are expecting further demand over the weekend.
Testing sites are operating in Nelson and Motueka today and over the weekend. For details of all dedicated testing sites including general practices, visit Healthpoint or the DHB Facebook page.
- Cases in hospital: 8; North Shore: 4; Auckland: 3; Middlemore: 1.
- Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region wards only): Unvaccinated or not eligible (0 cases / 0%); partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose (1 case / 13%); fully vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (7 cases / 87%); unknown (0 cases / 0%).
- Average age of current hospitalisations: 63
- Cases in ICU or HDU: Zero
- Seven day rolling average of community cases: 25
- Seven day rolling average of border cases: 41
- Number of new community cases: 43
- Number of new cases identified at the border: 41
- Location of new community cases: Auckland (19), Waikato (4), Lakes (6), *Hawke’s Bay (6), *Nelson Marlborough (8)
- Number of community cases (total): 11,466 (in current community outbreak)
- Cases epidemiologically linked (total): 8,715
- Number of active cases (total): 478 (cases identified in the past 21 days and not yet classified as recovered)
- Confirmed cases (total): 15,104
COVID tests and statistics are obtained in New Zealand by way of the PCR test.