23,183 new Covid cases today; one death in BOP rest home

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Health director-general Dr Ashley Bloomfield is reporting 23,183 new community cases of Covid-19 today.

Of the new cases, 520 are in Northland, 13,237 in Auckland, 1,870 in Waikato, 1,332 in Bay of Plenty, 537 in Lakes, 315 in Hawke's Bay, 381 in Mid Central, 79 in Whanganui, 289 in Taranaki, 134 in Tairāwhiti, 94 in Wairarapa, 1,487 in Capital and Coast, 642 in Hutt Valley, 271 in Nelson-Marlborough, 1,294 in Canterbury, 53 in South Canterbury, 615 in Southern and 16 in West Coast regions. There are 17 that are of unknown location.

The ministry says one person died in a Bay of Plenty rest home of an unrelated medical condition while receiving palliative care but had tested positive for Covid-19.

The active case total is now at 146,527.

Positive results of PCR tests, for today's cases, are at 3,378. Some 19,805 positive results were from rapid antigen tests, which accounts for 85% of the new cases today, Dr Bloomfield says. 

"Our cases continue to rise rapidly and, for the period of February 21 to 27, just over 1% of the New Zealand population were active Covid cases."

Most of the current cases are under 30 years of age, Dr Bloomfield says.

"Of the new cases today, 54% are under 30 years of age with just 14% over 50."

Hospitalisations grew by nearly a hundred more than yesterday, with 503 people in hospital with Covid-19 reported today. ICU numbers have dropped to seven.

Of the hospitalisations, eight are in Northland, 91 in North Shore, 159 in MIddlemore, 147 in Auckland, 39 in Waikato, 11 in Bay of Plenty, three each in Rotorua, Tairāwhiti, Taranaki and Hutt Valley, 12 in Capital & Coast, eight in both Canterbury and Mid Central, two in Southern and one in Hawke's Bay.

There were also 391 first doses, 869 second doses, 94 third primary doses, 17,963 booster doses, 1,391 paediatric first doses and 248 paediatric second doses administered across the country yesterday.

Rapid antigen tests

Yesterday, 3.6 million RATs arrived in the country, with 101 million confirmed for delivery this month, the ministry says. Another 3.5 million RATs are being sent out to DHBs today, and yesterday 1.3m were sent out to Primary Health Organisation.

Those who are symptomatic or household contacts can also order RATs (rapid antigen tests) through a newly created RAT requester site, with the test collected from a collection site listed on Healthpoint. People can still access free RATs without an order via Community Testing Centres, but only for those eligible.