Canterbury DHB reaches 90% fully vaccinated Māori; 45 community Covid cases

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Ministry of Health has reported 45 new Covid-19 community cases today, with 90 community cases either confirmed as Omicron or linked to previously reported Omicron cases, increasing by 34 since yesterday.

Many of these cases have previously been reported as Covid-19 cases and linked retrospectively either through whole-genome sequencing or epidemiologically. The ministry says many are not included in today’s reported new Covid-19 community cases.

Soundsplash Music Festival

Soundsplash Music Festival was also confirmed last night as a location of interest after five people in Auckland who had attended the festival in Hamilton tested positive. Anyone who attended the festival is asked to self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days (until Wednesday, February 2) following exposure at the event. Anyone who develops symptoms must isolate and get tested until a negative result shows.

Some 68 people who attended the festival have been identified as close contacts, with the number expected to grow. Contact tracing is underway to make contact with these people. Whole-genome sequencing has confirmed one of the cases who attended the festival has the Omicron variant, with whole-genome sequencing underway for the remaining four. Interviews with the five cases will assist in determining whether they contracted Covid-19 before or while attending the festival.

New case info

Of the new 45 cases reported today, 22 are in Auckland, two each in Waikato and Nelson Marlborough, three in Bay of Plenty, seven in Lakes, one in Taranaki, and eight in Hawkes Bay.

Both Waikato cases are in Hamilton, with one linked to reported cases and the other under investigation. Public health and welfare providers are supporting 18 cases to isolate at home in this region.

All of the Lakes cases are in Rotorua. Six of these are household contacts of previously reported cases and one remains under investigation. 

In the Bay of Plenty, one of the three cases is a household contact with two previously reported cases. Whole-genome sequencing has now linked these two earlier cases to the January Omicron cluster, and the new case is being treated as Omicron. The remaining two cases from today are in the Eastern Bay of Plenty with investigations ongoing to link back to any previous cases.

In addition, the ministry says three more cases have tested positive for COVID-19 linked to an exposure event at the early childhood centre BestStart Pyes Pa on January 19. All three are being treated as Omicron. These numbers will be officially recorded in tomorrow's tally.

The one case in Taranaki was reported yesterday and officially added today. Another case in Taranaki is also being reported today, linked to the Omicron cluster. The person is a household contact of the case reported yesterday and is in isolation. The new case today will be officially in tomorrow's case numbers.

In Hawke's Bay, all eight cases were expected and linked to the known Hastings Delta cluster. The cases had all been isolating and therefore there are no new associated locations of interest to add.

In Nelson Marlborough, the two cases were first announced yesterday and are included in today’s reported numbers.

In addition, the minsitry is reporting two cases which will be officially added to tomorrow’s case numbers. These two cases are part of one of the households which has been epidemiologically linked to the January Omicron cluster. Both are being treated as Omicron at this stage as whole-genome sequencing is being carried out.

Four community cases have been notified in Canterbury today – all in Christchurch. Two are in the same household. All four cases remain under investigation to establish any links to previous cases. They will be officially added into tomorrow's case numbers.

A Wellington case yesterday was confirmed, by whole genome sequencing, to have been of the Delta variant. Investigations continue to establish links to previous cases.

A new case, to be included in tomorrow's numbers as well, has been found in Gisborne. Investigations are underway to determine a link to the current outbreak. However, at this stage, the ministry says it is likely that the person became infected during travel outside of the region. The case is currently in isolation and any locations of interest will be published on the Ministry of Health's website.

Health and welfare providers are now supporting 619 people in Auckland to isolate at home, including 176 cases.

51 cases have been detected at the border, all of which are in managed isolation.

Hospitalisations remain at five today, with two in North Shore and one each in Auckland, Middlemore and Rotorua hospitals. The one in Rotorua is in ICU.

Vaccine update

As Auckland DHB crossed the milestone yesterday, Canterbury can now join as being the third DHB to fully vaccinate more than 90% eligible Māori. 

There were 13,995 paediatric doses administered yesterday, bringing the total to 124,155. This is 26% of the 5 to 11 age group. A further 25,596 are booked in for a first dose. The total number of paediatric first doses given to Māori children aged 5-11 (15,639) and Pacific children of the same age (8,381).

There were 50,946 boosters administered yesterday, bringing the total to 1,163,046, which is 63% of all those that have become due.

A total of 1,442 first doses; 2,317 second doses; 13,995 paediatric doses; 50,946 booster doses were administered yesterday.