39 new Covid-19 community cases in NZ today

Source: 1News

There are 39 new Covid-19 community cases in New Zealand today, the Ministry of Health has announced.

Health worker wearing PPE for Covid-19 (file picture).

The cases are located in Auckland (21), Lakes (14), Hawke’s Bay (2), Canterbury (1) and West Coast (1).

The Canterbury case and one of the Hawke's Bay cases were announced on Wednesday, but are included in Thursday's numbers.

The West Coast case has been deemed historical. It had been announced earlier this week due to a weak positive result, but further investigation showed their infection was historical, the ministry said in a statement.

Twenty-one people with the virus are in hospital. One of them is in an intensive care or high dependency unit.

Possible Omicron case in Manawatū

Meanwhile, a case in Palmerston North is being treated as a possible Omicron case.

They had been in a Christchurch MIQ facility and tested negative on day 9. They were released as a result on Sunday, January 16.

They had returned five negative tests during their MIQ stay.

They got a test on Wednesday after they became symptomatic, returning a positive test result that evening.

They are considered to have been infectious from Monday, January 17. To date nine locations of interest in Palmerston North have been listed. This includes an early childhood centre.

"Urgent whole genome sequencing is underway though, as this case was staying at a MIQ facility at the same time as known Omicron cases, as a prudent measure it is being treated as a Omicron case," the ministry said.

"Investigations are underway to determine the source of infection, including possible in-facility transmission."

The case, who is fully vaccinated, is isolating at home with their family.

Another household contact of MIQ worker tests positive

The ministry also announced another household contact of the Auckland MIQ worker with Omicron has tested positive.

Whole genome sequencing is underway, but the assumption is the case has the Omicron variant.

The household contact was already isolating when they tested positive.

"As of this morning, a total of 88 contacts have been identified in relation to the MIQ border worker. At this stage, 84 have returned negative test results and two have returned a positive result. This includes a positive household contact that was reported earlier this week, and an additional household contact reported today."

Thirty-nine contacts of worker at Auckland Airport

Meanwhile, 39 contacts of a worker at Auckland Airport have been identified. At this stage, 13 of them have returned negative test results.

Investigations into the source of the worker's infection are ongoing.

The ministry also said to date 440 Omicron cases have been detected at the border since December 1. Thirty-two Delta cases have been detected.

Community cases in Lakes, Hawke's Bay

Returning to new community cases, the ministry said the 14 new cases in the Lakes DHB area are in the Rotorua district.

Nine of them have been linked to earlier cases. The remainder are still being investigated to determine any links.

Meanwhile, there are three fresh community cases in Hawke's Bay. One of them was announced on Wednesday but has been added to Thursday's numbers.

Two of the three cases are linked to earlier cases. Investigations are underway to identify a link for the third.

It is believed they contracted Covid-19 out of the region.

It means there are now six active cases in Hawke's Bay.

Forty-six new MIQ cases

The ministry also announced 46 new Covid-19 cases in MIQ on Thursday.

They had arrived in New Zealand between January 6 and 18 from the UK, Singapore, US, Australia, Germany, India, Netherlands, Denmark, Turkey, Egypt and Ireland.

Full travel history was still being obtained for 15 of them.

They had tested positive for the virus between day 1 and 12.