25 new community covid cases in NZ, including 10 of omicron

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Six of the omicron cases reported in Auckland
Six of the omicron cases reported in Aotearoa New Zealand today are in Auckland -- all have been linked to events on January 15 and 16. Image: RNZ

RNZ News

Twenty five new cases of covid-19 have been reported in the New Zealand community today, including 10 confirmed omicron cases.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the new cases were located in Northland (1), Auckland (18), Bay of Plenty (2), Lakes (2), MidCentral (1) and Nelson Marlborough (1).

It said there were two omicron cases in Tauranga.

“Both cases are in the same household and are isolating at home. Case investigations are ongoing but, at this stage, there are a limited number of exposure events associated with these cases.”

The ministry said one omicron case was in Nelson Tasman and was a household contact of a previously reported case. They were already isolating when they tested positive.

And another case in Palmerston North that is a household contact of a previously reported case was also already isolating when they tested positive.

The last six omicron cases reported today are in Auckland — all have been linked to events on January 15 and 16.

Second private event
The ministry revealed that a case from the January omicron cluster also attended a second private event in Auckland during their infectious period.

“The exposure occurred on the evening of January 16 at the Pukekohe Indian Hall in Auckland.

“Auckland Regional Public Health Service believe a large number of people attended this event. Anyone at this location at the relevant times is asked to get tested immediately, and self-isolate until a negative result has been returned.”

Further locations of interest have also been identified across Auckland and the Nelson Tasman region and will be published on the ministry’s website as they are confirmed, the ministry said.

To date, there are 29 community cases of covid-19 associated with the January omicron cluster — all are in isolation.

“Public health officials are continuing to manage omicron cases in the community through rapidly isolating cases and contacts, contact tracing, and testing in order to slow the spread.”

At the border, there are 37 new cases today.

10 with virus in hospital
There are also 10 people with the virus in hospital today – five in North Shore, two in Auckland, one in Middlemore and two in Rotorua.

The average age of those currently hospitalised is 62.

On testing, 12,687 covid-19 tests have been taken in the past 24 hours.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is due to lay out a blueprint for how the country will handle the three planned stages of a widespread outbreak of the omicron variant tomorrow.

At its update yesterday, the ministry announced that there were 25 new community cases, including eight omicron cases.

There were also 50 new cases identified in managed isolation.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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