Wednesday February 23

Today there are 3297 new community cases of Covid-19 - a record high for New Zealand as cases continue to soar.

Of these cases, 40 are in Northland, 1,729 in Auckland, 297 are in Waikato, 157 in Bay of Plenty, 54 in Lakes District, 18 in Hawke’s Bay, 56 in MidCentral, 5 in Whanganui, 30 in Taranaki, 16 in Tairāwhiti, 16 in Wairarapa, 123 in Capital and Coast, 28 in Hutt Valley, 85 Nelson Marlborough, 176 in Canterbury, 7 in South Canterbury, 3 in West Coast and 455 in Southern. 


There are 179 people currently in hospital.  

There is one case in ICU. 

The average age of current hospitalisations is 51

Southern district health board cases

The number of cases in this area have been lower than the true number because a large number of people have tested positive with home addresses outside of the region. These cases have been included in other regions' case counts, the Ministry of Health says. 

"A large number of people who returned a positive result in the Southern region yesterday who have addresses outside of the region are included in Southern’s case count today after work by health officials to reclassify the cases. This explains why there is a larger increase in Southern’s cases reported today compared with previous days."

The Ministry of Health says "it is important to note that a case undercount anywhere in the country does not significantly impact our assessment of the outbreak, public health decision-making or public health advice". 

"Based on overseas experiences, the Ministry of Health has been expecting the true number of community cases to be higher than the cases reported each day and this has been factored into our Omicron planning."

Boosters and Covid-19 testing

25,367 booster doses were administered yesterday, bringing the total to 2,223,385.

27,550 tests were conducted yesterday. The Ministry of Health is reminding people of the importance of the right people being tested for the right reasons.

People should only get a test if they have cold or flu symptoms, are identified as a close contact of a case, or have been asked to get tested by a health official.


Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will be used as the primary test at Auckland community testing centres (CTCs) from today to help meet demand for testing as the Omicron outbreak grows.

The move, which is part of the Ministry of Health’s planned testing strategy, follows RATs being rolled out to CTCs in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and Southern yesterday to be used in conjunction with PCR tests in those centres.

RATS will be rolled out to CTCs at other centres across the country this week. The testing site will determine which test (PCR or RAT) is best for you.

Click here for a list of updated locations of interest.

Top image: Young businesswoman in the city using a phone. (File photo) Photo: iStock

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