22,454 new community Covid cases, 4 deaths
There were 22,454 new community cases of Covid-19 to report across the country yesterday, with four new deaths.
There are 742 people in hospital with Covid-19 yesterday, down from 757 on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health announced.
Nineteen people are in intensive care or high-dependency care units.
This represents 2.5 per cent of current hospitalisations, around one-fifth of the rate seen at the peak of the Delta outbreak when 13 per cent of hospitalised people required ICU or HDU care.
The ministry said 507 people were in hospital across the Northland and Auckland region, but also stated it was waiting on hospital data for these district health boards.
There were people in hospital in the following regions: Waikato, 67; Bay of Plenty, 26; Rotorua, seven; Tairāwhiti, three; Hawke’s Bay, 17; Taranaki, five; MidCentral, 18; Whanganui, two; Wairarapa, 8; Hutt Valley, 12; Capital and Coast, 38; Nelson Marlborough, three; Canterbury, 18; Timaru, two; Southern, nine.
Of the new deaths, two were in Lakes, one was in Tairāwhiti and one was in Counties Manukau.
There were 8529 new cases reported in the Auckland region – 56 per cent of the total new cases – down from 61 per cent of total new cases a week ago. The ministry said that number was still high, and the outbreak was still ‘‘very active’’ in the Auckland region, but numbers had levelled off there in the past week.
Officials would know in the next few days if this signalled the Auckland outbreak has peaked.
Of the 22,454 new cases, just 558 were detected via PCR testing (2.4 per cent), while the balance were picked up through rapid antigen tests.
This brings the total number of active cases – detected in the past 10 days – not yet deemed recovered to 202,141.
This information comes as Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced yesterday that the isolation period for Covidpositive cases, household contacts and those in MIQ would decrease to seven days, from 10 days, from 11.59pm on tomorrow.
‘‘The most up-to-date public health advice is that there is a decline in infectiousness of Omicron over time, and that in most cases transmission occurs within seven days.
‘‘Our primary objective is to stop the chain of transmission as much as possible to manage the spread of Omicron,’’ he said.
‘‘Seven days’ isolation will break the vast majority of potential transmissions, while ensuring people can get back to work quicker and therefore reducing the impact on business operations.’’