Covid-19: 55 new community cases, 56 in hospital

Tauranga Hospital ICU. Photo: SunLive.

The Ministry of Health is reporting 55 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand and eight new cases identified at the border.  There are 56 people in hospital with six in ICU. Three people are in Tauranga Hospital.

There are three new cases to report in Tauranga today – all linked and contacts of previous cases.

There are five new cases of the Omicron variant detected amongst international arrivals, making a total of 13 now in the country.

More than eight million Covid-19 vaccines have now been given.

Covid-19 vaccine update

The eight millionth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has now been administered in New Zealand. This includes first doses, second doses, boosters as well as third doses intended for those that are immune compromised. This significant milestone includes both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

MidCentral and Hutt Valley have now reached 90 per cent first doses for Māori, becoming the fourth and fifth DHB areas to achieve this milestone.

In the Bay of Plenty DHB region 93 per cent of eligible people have had their first dose of vaccine, and 87 per cent have had their second dose.

In the Lakes DHB region, 91 per cent have received their first dose of vaccine and 86 per cent have received their second dose.

Omicron update

Whole genome sequencing has now detected five further cases of Omicron in international arrivals, taking New Zealand’s total to 13 cases with the variant.

Four of these cases remain in managed isolation. One has now recovered and been released.

The recovered case arrived from London via Singapore on December 7. This case tested positive to Covid-19 at day 0/1 and was accordingly closely managed in MIQ. They were never in the community while infectious.

As an added precaution, 30 other passengers on their flight are regarded as close contacts. To date, 27 of these passengers have completed day 9 tests and returned negative results – testing is underway for the remaining three.

There are no other positive border sequencing tests outstanding from prior to the introduction of new Omicron protocols on 1December 16.

Health and MIQ teams have been carefully planning for Omicron cases at the border and will continue to manage all arrivals cautiously. This includes isolation and testing requirements for all new arrivals, robust infection and prevention control and PPE measures at airports and MIQ facilities, and frequent surveillance testing of staff who have any contact with recent international returnees.

New precautions set out that whole genome sequencing on all new border cases of Covid-19 is undertaken rapidly to identify any new cases of the Omicron variant.

These measures also see all passengers on flights with Omicron cases being required to complete all ten days at a managed isolation facility – rather than spending the last three days of their isolation period in self-isolation.

Covid-19 vaccine update

  • Vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible people): 3,963,513 first doses (94%); 3,798,165 second doses (90%); 24,549 third primary doses; 212,905 booster doses
  • Vaccines administered yesterday: 1,728 first doses; 6,630 second doses; 191 third primary doses and 6,916 booster doses.
  • Māori (percentage of eligible people): 495,993 first doses (87%); 442,500 second doses (77%)
  • Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people): 268,296 first doses (94%); second doses 252,451 (88%)

Vaccination rates by DHB with active cases (percentage of eligible people)

  • Northland DHB: First doses (88%); second doses (83%)
  • Auckland Metro DHBs: First doses (96%); second doses (93%)
  • Waikato DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (89%)
  • Bay of Plenty DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (87%)
  • Lakes DHB: First doses (91%); second doses (86%)
  • Taranaki DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (87%)
  • Whanganui DHB: First doses (90%); second doses (85%)
  • Hawke’s Bay DHB: First doses (94%); second doses (88%)
  • Nelson-Marlborough DHB: First doses (94%); second doses (90%)
  • Canterbury DHB: First doses (98%); second doses (94%)


  • Cases in hospital: 56; North Shore: 10; Auckland: 26; Middlemore: 15; Waikato: 2; Tauranga: 3.
  • Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region wards only): Unvaccinated or not eligible (25 cases / 53%); partially immunised
  • Average age of current hospitalisations: 53
  • Cases in ICU or HDU: 6 (1 in North Shore; 2 in Auckland; 2 in Middlemore; 1 in Waikato)


  • Seven day rolling average of community cases: 71.9
  • Number of new community cases: 55
  • Number of new cases identified at the border: 8
  • Location of new community cases: Auckland (41), Waikato (4), Bay of Plenty (3), Taranaki (7).
  • Number of community cases (total): 10,220 (in current community outbreak)
  • Number of active cases (total): 1,902 (not recovered cases added in past 21 days)
  • Confirmed cases (total): 13,425
  • Cases epidemiologically linked (total): 7,539


  • Number of active contacts being managed (total): 6,706
  • Percentage who have received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements): 83%
  • Percentage who have returned at least one result: 77%


  • Number of tests total (last 24 hours): 18,412
  • Tests rolling average (last 7 days): 22,418
  • Auckland tests total (last 24 hours): 5,499


  • Wastewater detections: No unexpected results to report


  • Poster scans in 24 hours to midday yesterday: 1,950,054
  • Manual diary entries in 24 hours to midday: 25,976

My Vaccine Pass

  • My vaccine pass downloads total: 4,369,755
  • My vaccine pass downloads (last 24 hours): 1,589

New cases identified at the border

Arrival date



Positive test day/reason

Managed isolation/quarantine location

10 December

Sri Lanka

United Arab Emirates

Day 5/contact of a case


16 December


United Arab Emirates

Day 3/routine


14 December

United States of America

United Arab Emirates

Day 3/routine


16 December

United Kingdom

United Arab Emirates

Day 3/routine


7 December

United States of America

Direct flight

Day 9/routine


11 December


United Arab Emirates

Day 6/routine


11 December


United Arab Emirates

Day 6/routine


16 December


Direct flight

Day 3/routine


Today’s cases

Today, the Ministry of Health are reporting new community cases in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and Taranaki.

Regional updates

“We are continuing to ask anyone in New Zealand with symptoms – no matter how mild – to get tested, even if you’re vaccinated,” says a Ministry of Health spokesperson. “Please stay at home until you return a negative test result.”

Testing and vaccination centre locations nationwide can be found on the Healthpoint website.


Today, there are 41 new cases being reported in Auckland.

Health and welfare providers are now supporting 1,928 people to isolate at home, including 530 cases.


In the Waikato, four new cases were reported overnight; three are in Te Kūiti and one is in Tokoroa. Of these cases, three are confirmed linked and one case remains under investigation to determine any links to previous cases.

There are four pop-up and dedicated testing sites operating throughout Waikato today with sites in Hamilton, Te Kūiti, Huntly, Taumarunui, and Ōtorohanga.

There are two cases receiving care at Waikato Hospital.

Health and welfare providers are supporting 63 cases to isolate at home.


Today, we are reporting seven new cases of COVID-19 in Taranaki.

Of these cases, four are linked to the Eltham cluster, two are linked to the New Plymouth case and one will be officially transferred to Auckland’s case numbers as they reside there for work purposes but have a permanent Taranaki address.

Testing is available today and tomorrow at:

  • Taranaki Base Hospital testing centre, 9am – 3pm
  • Hāwera Hospital testing centre, 10am – 2pm

Media releases over the Christmas break

Over the Christmas break there will be regular COVID-19 updates published and tweeted each day apart from:

  • Saturday 25 December;
  • Saturday 1 January; and
  • Saturday 8 January.


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