There are 43 new community cases of Covid-19 and 41 new cases in MIQ facilities.
Of the new community cases there are 19 in Auckland, four in Waikato, six in Lakes, six in Hawke’s Bay and eight in Nelson Marlborough.
The Ministry of Health has confimed an Auckland airport worker who tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday has the Omicron variant of the virus.
The case has been potentially linked to returnees in Rotorua and Auckland through whole genome sequencing, the ministry said.
Of the 32 contacts identified in connection to the case, around half have been contacted and tested. So far, 16 contacts have returned a negative test and as reported yesterday, one household member has tested positive.
Yesterday a person who tested positive for Covid-19 in Palmerston North after finishing their stay in MIQ in Christchurch was confirmed to have the Omicron variant.
The ministry says it has identified 76 contacts linked to this case of Omicron. Of these, all but two have been contacted and 66 have returned a negative result.
There were 23 new Covid-19 cases in the community yesterday, with 44 cases in MIQ, and 18 people in hospital with the virus.
What happened earlier?
Yesterday people in the Nelson and Tasman areas were warned to stay vigilant and get tested after nine people from the same household tested positive for Covid-19. One of those cases was counted in yesterday’s tally, and eight were included in today’s tally.
New modelling shows Auckland could have 1500 to 1800 daily Omicron cases within weeks of an outbreak, but some warn the numbers could be even higher.
Prominent University of Auckland microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles said the government’s red light restrictions setting in the Covid-19 protection framework will not be enough to slow Omicron.
Her concerns echo other experts who earlier appealed to the government to take more steps to prepare for Omicron.