There are 15,161 new community cases today, the second day in which daily case numbers have fallen. However, the Ministry of Health is urging caution and says the seven day rolling average of cases is a more reliable guide.
"The variation in reporting numbers each day means that the rolling average of cases gives a more reliable indicator of testing trends. The seven-day rolling average of cases is today 17,272, up from 16,687 yesterday.
"Additionally, public health officials consider that one possible reason for the decrease in cases could be related to delays in people self-reporting Rapid Antigen Test results, even if it is a negative result."
The ministry says there are currently 179,417 active community cases of Covid-19.
There is one further death to report today, following the deaths of 10 people over the past two days.
The person who was in Auckland Hospital had unrelated medical conditions and had tested positive for Covid-19.
618 people are in hospital with Covid-19, 21 more than yesterday. Their average age is 55. Ten are in intensive care.
Seventy-five per cent are in hospitals across Tāmaki Makaura (North Shore 117, Middlemore 184, Auckland 167).
In other areas, there are 10 people in hospital in Northland, and in Waikato 49, Bay of Plenty 16, Rotorua 8, Tairāwhiti 2, Hawke’s Bay 6, Taranaki 6, MidCentral 10, Wairarapa 2, Hutt Valley 2, Capital and Coast 20, Nelson Marlborough 2, Canterbury 13 and Southern 4.
"While still early in the Omicron outbreak, the figures show that, based on the data available, unvaccinated people are four times over-represented in the current hospitalisation data, the ministry says.
"Just 3% of eligible people aged 12 and over in New Zealand have had no doses of the vaccine, however, of the eligible people in Northland and Auckland hospitals with Covid-19, 13% have had no doses of the vaccine."
Auckland, with 7,226 new cases, has the country's most new community cases today.
Northland has 382, Waikato 1,334, Bay of Plenty 937, Lakes 434, Hawke’s Bay 336, MidCentral 378, Whanganui 59, Taranaki 239, Tairāwhiti 166, Wairarapa 85, Capital and Coast 1,161, Hutt Valley 648, Nelson Marlborough 233, Canterbury 1,019, South Canterbury 52, Southern 444, and West Coast 17. 11 are unknown.
Rapid Antigen Test kits
The ministry says it now has a site where free rapid antigen home testing kits can be ordered.
"If you are symptomatic or a household contact, you can order RATs through the newly launched RAT requester site. You, or someone on your behalf, can collect your RAT order from a collection site listed on Healthpoint. Please only go to those sites that are listed as collection sites.
"The priority for Covid-19 response for free RATs remains those who are symptomatic or a household contact. Please do not order or request RATs from testing centre or collections sites unless you are unwell or a household contact. International travel pre-departure testing is not covered under the public health response. If you are well, you can still purchase RATs from one of a growing number of retailers which stock them."