146 new Covid-19 community cases in NZ today

Source: 1News

There are 146 new Covid-19 cases in the community on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health has announced.

The cases are in Auckland (124), Waikato (14), Bay of Plenty (4) and Nelson-Tasman (4).

Three of the four cases in the Nelson-Tasman region were announced by the ministry earlier this week, but have been added to Wednesday's numbers.

The new case is not linked to an existing case, but the public health unit is investigating a possible source.

Three new Nelson-Tasman locations of interest linked to the cases were released on Wednesday morning and they include a brothel.

One new case has been announced in Manawatū, but will be added to Thursday's numbers.

The case had been under investigation but was confirmed after the ministry's 9am cut-off time.

They continue to be interviewed and are understood to live in Waikato but work in Manawatū, the ministry said.

The ministry confirmed there is an "emerging cluster" at Te Akau ki Pāpāmoa School in Pāpāmoa, where five people associated with the school have tested positive to date.

Due to the number of close contacts among the school's teaching staff, the school was closed on Tuesday.

The Bay of Plenty's four new cases on Wednesday are in Tauranga and are close contacts of previously reported cases.

Waikato's 14 new cases are located in Te Kūiti (7), Huntly (2), Ōtorohanga (2), Hamilton (1) and Ngāruawāhia (1).

One location is under investigation.

Six of the 14 cases have been linked to previous cases, with the remainder are under investigation.

A total of 83 people are in hospital with the virus, with nine of them in intensive care or a high dependency unit.

The bulk of those in hospital are in Auckland.

Of Wednesday's 146 new cases, 73 have been epidemiologically linked, with 73 to be linked.

There were three new cases of Covid-19 recorded at New Zealand's border. One of them is historical.

None of the cases are the Omicron variant of the virus and there has not been an Omicron case recorded in New Zealand yet.

Speaking in the 1pm press conference Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said Omicron is a "cause for concern, but not a cause for panic".

On Tuesday, 134 cases in the community were announced.