No new Omicron ahead of New Year's celebrations

By Te Ao - Māori News

There are 49 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today and no new Omicron cases. The new cases are based in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, and Hawke’s Bay DHBs.

In today's Covid-19 media briefing the Ministry of Health reiterated the importance of booster shots to protect against the new Omicron variant. Officials say more than 300,000 people have received a vaccine booster; but that is just 70% of those eligible for the shot (having had their first dose 6 months earlier).

There are 46 people hospitalised with the virus today, 10 are in North Shore hospital; 14 in Auckland; 18 in Middlemore; 2 in Tauranga and 2 in lakes.

It was another bumper day for vaccination milestones with 90% of eligible Pacific peoples nationwide now fully vaccinated, a total of 258,713 people having had their second dose.

The MoH also says Hawke’s Bay DHB has reached the 90% target for eligible people being fully vaccinated.

Today is the first day of Auckland and other areas in the North Island in the orange setting of the Covid-19 protection framework. 

Bars, cafes and restaurants enforcing the vaccine pass can lift crowd limits and don't need to enforce seating mandates, meaning a return to normalcy for those welcoming in 2022 in Tāmaki Makaurau, Taupō, Rotorua lakes districts, Kawerau, Whakatāne, Ōpōtiki, Gisborne, Wairoa, Rangitīkei, Whanganui and Ruapehu.

Officials reminded revellers to remain vigilant by wearing masks and checking in using the NZ Covid tracer app.

Omicron update

There are 10 Omicron cases to report among recent arrivals at the border, taking the total at the border, to date to 88.  

All six of our close contacts who attended the Hidden Lakes festival tested COVID-19 negative.

Air New Zealand flight attendant

All eight close contacts of the border-related Omicron case in the Air New Zealand flight crew member have returned negative tests.

There are no locations of interest associated with this case and therefore the risk to the public has been determined to be low.

Regional updates

In light of Omicron the ministry reiterated its calls for anyone in Aotearoa with symptoms – no matter how mild – to get tested, even if they’re vaccinated. 'Please stay at home until you return a negative test result.' They said in a statement.


Today, there are 22 new cases being reported in Auckland. 

Health and welfare providers are now supporting 1257 people to isolate at home, including 333 cases.


There are three new cases in the Waikato today, all in Ātiamuri.

For details of dedicated testing sites operating over the holiday period, please visit the dedicated DHB page or DHB Facebook page.

Bay of Plenty

There are 19 new cases to report in Bay of Plenty today. 

Of the cases, 17 are in Tauranga and two are in Western Bay of Plenty.


There are four new cases to report in Lakes DHB today.

Two of the cases are in the Rotorua area and two are in Taupo.

Hawke’s Bay

There is one COVID-19 case to report in Napier today, first announced by the DHB yesterday.

Investigations continue into links to any previous cases.

COVID-19 vaccine update

Vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible people): 3,974,357 first doses (94%); 3,850,822 second doses (91%); 28,890 third primary doses; 312,821 booster doses

Vaccines administered yesterday: 963 first doses; 4,916 second doses; 390 third primary doses and 17,116 booster doses.

Māori (percentage of eligible people): 500,204 first doses (88%); 460,296 second doses (81%)

Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people): 271,232 first doses (95%); 258,713 second doses (90%)

Vaccination rates by DHB with active cases (percentage of eligible people)

Northland DHB: First doses (88%); second doses (84%)

Auckland Metro DHBs: First doses (96%); second doses (94%)

Waikato DHB: First doses (94%); second doses (90%)

Bay of Plenty DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (89%)

Lakes DHB: First doses (92%); second doses (87%)

Taranaki DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (89%)

Tairawhiti DHB: First doses (91%); second doses (86%)

Hawke’s Bay DHB: First doses (95%); second doses (90%)

Canterbury DHB: First doses (98%); second doses (95%)


Cases in hospital: 46; North Shore: 10; Auckland: 14; Middlemore: 18; Tauranga: 2; Lakes: 2

Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region wards only): Unvaccinated or not eligible (11 cases / 29.7%); partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose (9 cases / 24.3%); fully vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (15 cases / 40.5%); unknown 2 (5.4%)

Average age of current hospitalisations: 57

Cases in ICU or HDU: 8 (3 in Auckland; 3 in Middlemore, 2 in Tauranga)


Seven day rolling average of community cases: 44.7

Number of new community cases: 49

Number of new cases identified at the border: 13

Location of new community cases: Auckland (22), Waikato (3), Bay of Plenty (19), Lakes (4), Hawke’s Bay (1)

Number of community cases (total): 10,825 (in current community outbreak)

Cases epidemiologically linked (total): 8118

Number of active cases (total): 1,090 (cases identified in the past 21 days and not yet classed as recovered)

Confirmed cases (total): 13748


Number of active contacts being managed (total): 6040

Percentage who have received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements): 84%

Percentage who have returned at least one result: 79%