100 hospitalised; record day for Covid cases

By Te Ao - Māori News

Omicron cases continue to rise rapidly in Aotearoa with the Health Ministry reporting 2,522 new cases in the community today, over 600 more than yesterday.

100 people are in hospital with Covid-19, 24 more than yesterday. None, however, are in intensive care.

"As the outbreak grows more people will have Covid and there will be more close contacts we need to test," the ministry, who said they intend making rapid antigen tests available at all Auckland testing sites from Monday morning, stated in today's update. 

The greatest number of cases continue to be in Tāmaki Makaurau which is reporting 1,799 new community cases today. It is also the region where there are the most people in hospital with Covid-19 - with 95 patients, across North Shore (10), Middlemore (30) and Auckland (45) hospitals.

Eleven people are in Waikato hospital, and one each in Northland, Rotorua, Tauranga and Tairāwhiti.

Both Waikato (188) and Southern (111) DHB regions have the second and third most new community cases of the virus.

In other regions, Bay of Plenty is reporting 86 new cases, Canterbury 76, Capital and Coast 54, Nelson Marlborough 53, Northland 41, Hutt Valley 25, Hawke’s Bay 24, Wairarapa 14, MidCentral 13, Tairāwhiti 12, Lakes 11, Taranaki 9, Whanganui 2 and South Canterbury 1. The location of three cases is unknown, the ministry says.

The ministry says it is important that people do not need to get tested unless they are unwell with cold or flu symptoms, are a close contact or have been advised to do so by health officials. 

"As this demand has grown, some Covid-19 test results for Auckland and Waikato are currently taking longer to process at laboratories. The use of rapid antigen testing, alongside PCR testing, will improve this process at a time of exceptional demand in Phase 2, provided the testing centre queues are freely available for those who really need a test."