23,894 new Covid-19 community cases in NZ on Tuesday

Source: 1News

There are 23,894 new Covid-19 cases in the community on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health has announced.

People line up to get Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) at The Cloud in Auckland on Thursday March 3.

It's the highest number of daily cases in New Zealand since the pandemic began.

The positive cases, detected through rapid antigen tests (RAT) and PCR tests, are located in Northland (718), Auckland (9881), Waikato (2146), Bay of Plenty (1691), Lakes (660), Hawke’s Bay (707), MidCentral (632), Whanganui (166), Taranaki (525), Tairāwhiti (366), Wairarapa (136), Capital and Coast (1787), Hutt Valley (1061), Nelson Marlborough (435), Canterbury (1903), South Canterbury (129), Southern (914) and West Coast (30).

The location of seven of the cases is unknown.

There are 757 people in hospital with the virus, including 16 in an intensive care or high dependency unit.

The ministry said based on data available, just 3 per cent of the eligible population 12 and over have had no doses of the vaccine.

Of those aged 12 and over in Northland and Auckland hospitals with Covid-19, however, 19.4 per cent have had no vaccine doses.

The ministry said it was still seeing a daily increase in hospitalisations and the seven-day rolling average of community cases. It is 18,669 on Tuesday.

From March 1 to March 7, the seven-day rolling average increased from 10,698 to 17,921, and over the same period, hospitalisations increased from 373 to 696.

"These numbers clearly show that Omicron is still spreading in our communities," the ministry said.

"Contributing factors to the decrease in case numbers seen in the previous few days are likely to have been either a lower level of testing and a lower level of self-reporting of RAT test results over the weekend, or a combination of both."

The ministry said 23,298 of Tuesday's cases were detected through RAT and 596 through PCR tests. A total of 4108 PCR tests were carried out in the last 24 hours.

The number of active community cases is 192,452. They were identified in the past 10 days but have not yet been classified as recovered.

The ministry also said there had been some reports of people with Covid-19 undertaking a RAT test in order to return a negative result to leave isolation.

The ministry said it is not necessary for positive cases and their household contacts to return a negative test once the isolation period is over in order to return to work or school.

"It's also important to note that some people may continue to test positive on a RAT for some time, even once they are past their infectious stage or have recovered," the ministry said.

The guidance does not extend to household contacts covered by the Close Contact Exemption Scheme. They are able to continue working during the 10-day isolation period as long as they return a negative RAT result before work each day.

Nineteen new cases at the border were also announced on Tuesday.

On Monday, 17,522 community cases were recorded in New Zealand.