There are 63 new Covid community cases today ahead of an expected rush of Aucklanders leaving the city this week for the first time in four months.
That includes 53 cases in Auckland, two in Northland, three in Waikato, one in the Bay of Plenty, one in Taranaki, two in Canterbury, and one historical in case in the Southern DHB region.
To date, 94 per cent of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose and 89 per cent are fully vaccinated.
There were 21,013 total vaccine doses administered yesterday, including 2,859 first doses and 9,250 second doses, the Ministry of Health said.
Today, there are 53 new cases being reported in Auckland.
Health and welfare providers are now supporting 2809 people to isolate at home, including 677 people with Covid.
Auckland Aged Residential Care Facility
A staff member at Aria Park aged residential care facility in Auckland has tested positive for Covid-19.
Auckland Regional Public Health Service and Auckland DHB staff are supporting the residents and staff at the privately-owned facility.
Testing is being undertaken with residents and staff as part of the outbreak management plan.
Bay of Plenty
There is one new case in Tauranga today.
This case has not yet been linked back to a person already known to have Covid, health officials said.
Contacts are being identified and will be contacted for testing and isolation advice.
There are two linked cases to report in Christchurch today.
Christchurch testing locations and opening hours are available on the Healthpoint website.
There are 60 people now in hospital with Covid. That includes 11 in North Shore hospital, 20 in Auckland, 24 in Middlemore, two in Waikato, two in Tauranga and one in Nelson-Marlborough.
Three patients are in ICU or HDU.
Of those in hospital, 28 cases or 51 per cent are unvaccinated.
Another 11 cases or 22 per cent are partially immunised, meaning they have had only one dose or it is less than seven days since they had their second dose and 12 cases are fully vaccinated having had their second dose longer than 7 days ago.
The vaccination status of another 4 casesor 7 per cent is still unknown.
Of those in intensive care, one is in each of Auckland, North Shore and Middlemore hospitals.
The seven day average of new community cases now sits at 99.
There have now been 9613 cases in the current Delta outbreak, with 6661 of those still active according to ministry figures.
In total there have been 12,411 Covid cases in New Zealand.
There are 7320 contacts of Covid cases being managed with contact tracing teams having called at 83 per cent to advise them they need to get a test and isolate.
Seventy-six per cent have returned at least one Covid test result.
There have been 4,115,903 My Vaccine Pass downloads one week after the traffic light system started.
That included 54,487 in the last 24 hours ahead of a rush of Aucklanders expecting to leave the city this week.
Overall, 3,946,071 first dose vaccines have been given out to 94 per cent of the eligible population.
Another 3,738,860 second doseshave been given out to 89 per cent of eligible Kiwis with 20,466 third primary doses and 149,651 booster doses also given out.
Māori have now had 489,428 first doses – equal to 86 per cent of the eligible population, while 424,793 second doses or 74 per cent have also had a second dose.
There are now 266,876 Pacific people – or 93 per cent of the eligible people – who have had a first dose, while 246,438 or 86 per cent have also had a second dose.
In Northland DHB 87 per cent of eligible residents have had at least one vaccine dose, while 81 per cent have also had a second dose.
Whanganui DHB is now on the 90 per cent first dose mark, with 83 per cent of residents also having their second dose.
There are no unexpected waste water detections, while 27,362 Covid tests were undertaken in the last 24 hours, including 11,441 in Auckland.
There has been two new cases of Covid detected in managed isolation facilities. They were in a traveller returning from Qatar on November 25 and another returning from the United Kingdom on December 6.
The Ministry of Health has released the latest case numbers and locations in a media statement at 1pm.
It comes as the nation is close to having 90 per cent of its eligible population double-dosed with the Pfizer jab and as case numbers in Auckland have trended down.
However, with all of Auckland operating under the traffic light system for one week, health officials will be keeping a close eye on case numbers to see if they are about to rise given residents have been in close proximity in bars, restaurants and gyms.
Aucklanders will be able to travel out of the city on mass for the first time since August onWednesday, December 15.
Yesterday, there were 95 new community cases: 75 in Auckland, 11 in Waikato, five in the Bay of Plenty, one in the Lakes DHB region, one in Nelson-Tasman, and two in Canterbury.
Two people also died in hospital with Covid.
One person died at Middlemore Hospital, and the second patient had been admitted to Auckland City Hospital, the Ministry of Health said.
The first patient’s family had requested no information be publicly provided about the person, while the second patient’s case has been referred to the Coroner.
The two deaths bring the country’s Covid death toll to 46.
There are 56 people in hospital: 13 at North Shore, 16 at Auckland, 24 at Middlemore, one in Waikato, one in Tauranga and one in Nelson-Marlborough.
Of those hospitalised, 30 are unvaccinated or ineligible to be vaccinated. Twelve people are partially immunised. Nine are fully immunised (meaning they got their second dose at least seven days before their infection was detected). Another two cases’ vaccination status is unknown.
Four people are in intensive care: two at Middlemore, one at Auckland and one at North Shore Hospital.
The patients’ average age is 51.
'Cautiously optimistic' ahead of Auckland break out
Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said health officials were “cautiously optimistic” about case numbers.
“We’re seeing it is on a downward trend. There has been a very significant decline in case numbers and we look to see that continue over the next week ahead of Auckland’s boundary coming down,” he said.
“As low a number of cases as possible in Auckland is great ahead of our reopening, because it just means the pool of potential cases that we might see outside of Auckland will be much, much smaller.”
Vaccination numbers high
A total of 89 per cent of eligible Kiwis are now fully vaccinated; 94 per cent have had at least one Pfizer dose.
Just 325 people need to get their first jab in the Whanganui DHB area to reach the first-dose milestone of 90 per cent.
Tairāwhiti DHB needs just 266 more people to get their first vaccination to reach 90 per cent first-doses.
Reluctance to have Auckland visitors
It comes as some people in regional New Zealand are uncomfortable at having Aucklanders visit their districts for fear of bringing and spreading the virus with them.
The Ōpōtiki District Council is among those backing calls from local iwi leaders to try to block Aucklanders from travelling to the district when the city’s boundary relaxes on Wednesday.
“We are remote, most people are more than three hours from the nearest hospital, and we have a lot of vulnerable and elderly in our communities,” Ōpōtiki councillor Louis Rapihana said.
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