The Ministry of Health is reporting 182 new community cases of Covid-19 in the country today.
In a statement, the ministry said 93 people are in hospital with the virus, including 10 in intensive care.
There are three new cases at the border.
Of today’s new cases, five are in Northland, 167 in Auckland and 10 in Waikato – 123 of them are yet to be epidemiologically linked.
Two of Northland’s cases were announced yesterday and the remainder are made up of two cases in Kawakawa and one case in the Far North. These three cases are linked to existing cases.
The virus was also unexpectedly detected in a wastewater sample taken from Opononi, Northland.
The ministry is urging anyone living in or near Opononi with any symptoms that could be Covid-19 to get a test – and remain isolated until they return a negative test result.
Of the 10 new cases in Waikato today, four are in Huntly, two in Te Kuiti, one in Hamilton, and the location of the remaining three are still to be confirmed. Nine of the cases have been linked to previous cases.
There is also a case in the Nelson-Marlborough region. It was reported after the cut-off today and will be added in tomorrow’s official figures.
The ministry also revealed that today Capital and Coast DHB has achieved 90 percent double vaccination of the eligible population, becoming the second district health board to achieve it after Auckland.
Nelson-Tasman case confirmed last night
A new case was confirmed in the Nelson-Tasman region following a positive test result being returned last night.
The case and their close contacts are in isolation, with testing of those contacts underway.
Investigations into the possible source of infection are ongoing.
The case will be formally added to the ministry’s case tally tomorrow.
Canterbury local border case update
Five close contacts are self-isolating with testing underway after a local border case reported yesterday in Canterbury.
The case travelled from Auckland to Christchurch on 25 November on Air NZ Flight NZ8475 arriving in Christchurch at 10.50am.
The ministry said anyone who is considered a potential contact of this case will be contacted directly.
Those who are not contacted are asked to monitor for symptoms, and get tested straight away if they develop any consistent with Covid-19.
Hawke’s Bay case update
The new case reported in Hawke’s Bay yesterday is now isolating in a community isolation facility.
Close contacts identified to date have been contacted and are now isolating at home. So far, two close contacts in the case’s household have returned negative tests.
Patients at Hawke’s Bay Hospital Emergency Department at the same time as this case have now been contacted and asked to self-monitor for symptoms.
Investigations into the source of infection have linked it to an Auckland case.
The locations of interest so far include Pak’n’Save Napier, a Hasting pharmacy, and an ice cream shop in Napier. Any more updates will be on the ministry’s website.
Report on two self-isolating people who died
This morning, a review found the deaths of two people with Covid-19 who were isolating at home were potentially preventable.
“This is a very sad time for the whānau and friends of the deceased and our hearts and thoughts are with them as they come to terms with their loss,” the ministry said.
The two separate cases were living alone when they died in early November.
The Northern Region Health Coordination Centre – which coordinates the Covid-19 response for the three Auckland DHBs – accepted the findings of the review and have made changes in the last three weeks to improve the community home isolation system.
Health staff in Auckland are now supporting 4207 people to isolate at home, including 1158 cases. Meanwhile, 124 cases are being supported to isolate at home in Waikato.
In the post-Cabinet update on Monday afternoon, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said with home isolation, there willl still be regular contact from healthline and public health, with very active follow-up.
He said for many people the system had been working well and continued to improve.
Bloomfield said “the point of doing the review was to find out exactly where were the areas that needed to be strengthened and improved, and those improvements have been put in place.”
Bloomfield said the work on information systems was continuing but the processes for handover between agencies was much stronger with workarounds while information systems were being linked up.
“Our intention is of course to prevent avoidable deaths in the community and indeed in any healthcare setting. I’m confident the system is much stronger.”
He said one recommendation that was being put in place was to put a clinical governance group across the system to do reviews.
Traffic light decision
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed the settings for the new Covid-19 protection framework which is set to come into effect on Friday.
Northland will join the Auckland region in red, along with Taupō, Rotorua Lakes, Kawerau, Whakatāne, Ōpōtiki, Gisborne, Wairoa, Rangitīkei, Whanganui and Ruapehu districts.
All other regions will be in orange.
She told Morning Report today the government would take a “regional approach” using local government boundaries rather than DHB areas, and said the MIQ system offered extra protection against the new Omicron variant.
The green setting has been ruled out for any region over the summer period.
Case numbers suggest the Auckland Delta outbreak has peaked, but the experts have warned the traffic light system could allow it to spread further.