Covid 19 Delta outbreak: 27 Covid cases today; 44 people in hospital; no Omicron in community

There are no new cases of Omicron in the community or at the border today, the Ministry of Health says.

But there are 27 new cases of Covid in the community. Twelve are in Auckland, seven in Waikato, seven in the Bay of Plenty and one in Lakes.

There are 24 new cases in MIQ today but none are Omicron variant. All contacts of the Omicron case who was out in the community last week have tested negative to date. Testing is continuing.

There are 44 people in hospital – six at North Shore Hospital, 12 at Auckland, 22 at Middlemore, three at Tauranga and one at Lakes. The average age of those in hospital is 56.

Five people are in ICU or a high dependency unit – three in Middlemore and two in Tauranga.

The ministry released today’s data about 1pm.

Two of the seven Waikato cases are in Whitianga/Matarangi, one in Te Kuiti, one in Te Awamutu and one in Waihi. One was initially reported as Papamoa and the location data of one is yet to be confirmed. Six of the cases have been linked to previous cases while one is still being investigated.

There are 60 cases isolating at home in Waikato.

In the Bay of Plenty, there are four cases in Tauranga, two in the Western Bay of Plenty and one in the Whakatāne District. Six cases are contacts of known cases, while one is being investigated. The case in Lakes – in Rotorua – is also still being investigated.

In Auckland there are 1295 people isolating at home, including 367 cases.

Of those in hospital in the Northern Region wards, 21 people aren’t vaccinated. Three are only partly immunised and 15 are fully vaccinated.

In the past 24 hours, there have been 7696 tests including 2765 in Auckland. The rolling average for the last week is 10,988 tests.

The Ministry of Health said the 24 new cases at the border were “a reflection on the increase in cases globally and the continued impact of Covid-19 in many parts of the world”.

Five of those people came from Australia, six from the United Kingdom, four from the United States, three from the United Arab Emirates, two from Singapore and one each from Canada, India, France and Qatar.

Yesterday 2990 vaccines were administered – 2220 of them were booster shots and another 13 were third primary doses.

Just 135 were first doses and 622 were second doses.

From Wednesday the number of booster shots is likely to jump as that’s the day when the interval between second doses and boosters will drop to four months.

Anyone aged 18 and over who had their second dose at least four months ago can get a booster dose.

In Auckland, the Airport Park and Ride drive-through vaccination centre has reopened, which will add “significant surge capacity” for vaccination efforts.

The drive-through is located at 42 Verissimo Drive, Māngere, and operates from 10am-5pm with no appointment needed. It can vaccinate more than 4000 people per day.

Meanwhile, the DJ with Omicron who broke self-isolation rules and entered the community will reportedly avoid prosecution.

The Ministry of Health does not intend to refer DJ Dimension – real name Robert Etheridge – to police.

“The Ministry continues to assess the need for enforcement action in relation to breaches of the Covid-19 Public Health Response Order on a case by case basis, and may seek action in instances where this would support the public health response,” the Ministry said in a statement.

A police spokeswoman reportedly said any enforcement action over broken isolation rules would come after consultation with the Ministry of Health – and would generally follow a referral from them, which hadn’t been received.

In the 48 hours leading up to the ministry’s announcement yesterday, 105 community Covid-19 cases had been discovered.

None had been infected with the Omicron variant, save two cases found at the border. So far, 90 Omicron cases had been intercepted coming into New Zealand.

The country’s Covid-related death toll also rose by two yesterday to 53. Both people had died at Auckland City Hospital.

Of the 105 cases announced yesterday, 71 were in Auckland. A total of 1264 residents were isolating at home – including 355 people with the virus.

Health officials also confirmed six cases of Covid-19 had been found at the Everil Orr Care Centre in Mt Albert, Auckland.

This included five residents and one staff member.

“One of the residents, who tested positive on 30th December, is in hospital and is currently in a stable condition,” the ministry said.

“All other residents, and the staff, were tested on 31st December and early on New Year’s Day. All residents and staff are fully vaccinated.”

The facility is run by Oceania and is being supported by Public Health and Auckland DHB.

The testing was being undertaken with residents and staff as part of the outbreak management plan, MOH said.

One resident at the rest home was transported to Auckland Hospital on New Year’s Eve and confirmed as Covid-19 positive.

“We all know Covid-19 is in the community. A person in the community has brought Covid into our community at Everil Orr,” Oceania Healthcare chief executive Brent Pattison said.

“We had an elderly resident with serious health conditions transferred to hospital, who subsequently tested positive for Covid-19.

“All our residents and staff have been tested by the Public Health Unit. We have five residents, including the one in hospital and one staff member that have tested positive for Covid-19 and are isolating.”

Three central Auckland adult entertainment clubs are among the latest locations of interest to be released in the New Year.

The Ministry of Health yesterday named The Mermaid Club, Femme Fatale and The Pelican Club as sites linked to positive Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks.

The Mermaid Club, at 13 Gore St, was visited by a case between 11.40pm on Wednesday, December 22 and 1am on Thursday, December 23.

Femme Fatale, an escort agency on Wellesley St West, was visited between 3am-5.20am on Thursday, December 23.

The Pelican Club, a massage parlour and escort agency on Newton Rd, became a location of interest after a case visited on Wednesday, December 22 between 11pm-11.45pm and Thursday, December 23 between 1.10am-2.10am.

The club was also linked to a case suspected to have been in close contact with people at the site between 5.41pm on Wednesday, December 29 and 5am on Thursday, December 30.

For this event, the public health advice for those exposed at the location was to self-isolate and get tested immediately and then again on day 5. People affected were encouraged to call Healthline or record their visit online.

For the other exposure events, people were advised to get tested immediately and stay home until a negative result was returned.

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