Latest on the COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday January 15

The summer has not yet seen a big rise in the number of new community cases of COVID-19 and figures have remained low, despite many Kiwis heading off around the country on their holidays. 

Cases of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron continue to arrive at the border but the highly infectious strain has yet to break out. As of the 1st December there have been 266 cases caught in MIQ. 

There is another protest planned today the Freedom Rights Coalition in Manukau. Police say they expect disruption in Manukau City center from midday.   

The Ministry of Health will provide an update at 1pm. 

What you need to know:

  • There were 29 new community cases announced on Saturday and 25 at the border.
  • There have been 291 cases of Omicron detected at the border since December 1
  • 29 are in hospital,  5 in North Shore,  8 in Auckland, 12 in Middlemore, 4 in Tauranga. Two cases are in ICU
  • Click here for locations of interest.

These live updates are now over.

1:47pm - Regional update: 


There are two new cases to report in Kaikohe today. They are from the same household and are in isolation. Investigations are underway to determine how they are linked to the current outbreak.

There are currently four active cases in Northland.


There are 11 cases to report in Auckland today.

Health and welfare providers are now supporting 850 people in the region to isolate at home, including 180 cases.

Bay of Plenty

There is one case in Western Bay of Plenty to report.

The case is linked to a previously reported case and was already isolating when they tested positive.


There are 14 cases to report in Lakes today.

The cases are all in Rotorua and 11 of them are linked to previously reported cases.

Investigations are underway to determine any links for the unlinked cases.


There is one case to report in Wellington City today.

The case is a household contact of a previously reported case and was already isolating when they tested positive.

1:25pm Ministry of Health statement: 

The vaccine remains New Zealand’s key defence against all variants of COVID-19, including Omicron.

On Monday, the vaccine will be available for 5 to 11 year olds to get protected against COVID-19. We encourage all parents with children in this age group to take them to get vaccinated. A full list of vaccination centres can be found on the Healthpoint website.

The Ministry continues to ask everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. We are strongly recommending boosters for anyone over the age of 18 who had their second dose of the vaccine at least four months ago.

Today we are reporting 25 people at the border with COVID-19. New Zealand continues to see many border cases arriving from overseas, reflecting the growing number of Omicron cases globally.

The seven-day rolling average of border cases is 30.

As part of our collective preparations for Omicron please check your details are up to date with your regular healthcare provider and in the COVID-19 Tracer app.

COVID-19 vaccine update

  • Vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible people): 3,987,935 first doses (95%); 3,893,786 second doses (93%); 35,223 third primary doses; 719,966 booster doses
  • Vaccines administered yesterday: 1,459 first doses; 3,334 second doses; 589 third primary doses and 40,880 booster doses.
  • Māori (percentage of eligible people): 505,941 first doses (89%); 474,801 second doses (83%).
  • Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people): 274,184 first doses (96%); 264,680 second doses (92%).

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

  • Northland DHB: First doses (89%); second doses (86%)
  • Auckland Metro DHBs: First doses (97%); second doses (95%)
  • Waikato DHB: First doses (94%); second doses (92%)
  • Bay of Plenty DHB: First doses (94%); second doses (91%)
  • Lakes DHB: First doses (92%); second doses (89%)
  • Wairarapa DHB: First doses (96%); second doses (93%)
  • Capital and Coast DHB: First doses (98%); second doses (97%)
  • Hutt Valley DHB: First doses (96%); second doses (94%)
  • Canterbury DHB: First doses (99%); second doses (97%)


  • Cases in hospital: 29; North Shore: 5; Auckland: 8; Middlemore: 12; Tauranga: 4.
  • Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region wards only): Unvaccinated or not eligible (7 cases / 29.2%); partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose (8 case / 33.3%); fully vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (8 cases / 33.3%); unknown (1 case / 4.2%).
  • Average age of current hospitalisations: 47
  • Cases in ICU or HDU: Middlemore: 1; Tauranga: 1


  • Seven day rolling average of community cases: 25
  • Seven day rolling average of border cases: 30
  • Number of new community cases: 29
  • Number of new cases identified at the border: 25
  • Location of new community cases: Northland (2), Auckland (11), Bay of Plenty (1), Lakes (14), Wellington (1),
  • Number of community cases (total): 11,281 (in current community outbreak)
  • Cases epidemiologically linked (total): 8,559
  • Number of active cases (total): 572 (cases identified in the past 21 days and not yet classified as recovered)
  • Confirmed cases (total): 14,626


  • Number of active contacts being managed (total): 4,746
  • Percentage who has received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements): 81%
  • Percentage who has returned at least one result: 80%

1:20pm - An Auckland based MIQ worker returned a positive result for COVID-19 late on Friday afternoon and is currently in isolation. The test was taken as part of routine border worker surveillance testing.

Whole genome sequencing is being carried out to determine what variant the infection is and the results will be reported in tomorrow’s 1pm COVID-19 update.

Investigations are underway to determine if the infection originated from the community or the facility.

The worker is fully vaccinated and up-to-date with regular testing. 

Household contacts of the MIQ worker all returned negative tests last night.

1:10pm - There are 29 new cases of COVID-19 in the community, 29 people in hospital and two in ICU. There are 25 new cases at the border. 

12:30pm - A ward at one of Auckland's largest resthomes has been closed, after a caregiver tested positive for Covid-19 RNZ reports. 

The families of residents at the Ivan Ward Centre at Selwyn Village in Point Chevalier, have been sent an email telling them that the caregiver is asymptomatic.

12:20pm - The protest today will leave from the Manukau Sportsbowl approximately 12pm, and head along Te Irirangi Drive over the motorway, onto Great South Road past Manukau Mall and Rainbows End. 

It will head down Manukau Station Road past the Courthouse and Manukau Police Station, then finish at Hayman Park.

12:00 - A surge in coronavirus cases caused by the Omicron variant may have peaked in some parts of Europe but medics say the impact will continue to be felt across the region, with hospitals still at risk of facing a rush of admissions.

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units in France has fallen for the second day in a row, despite a record infection rate, health ministry data showed on Friday.

The number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Spain since the pandemic started in 2020 has reached 8 million, according to Health Ministry data on Friday.

German health officials warned on Friday the coronavirus remained a serious threat as the Omicron variant is set to completely replace Delta in the coming days in a nation whose vaccination rates lag much of western Europe.

The UK Health Security Agency on Friday said it was increasingly confident that the Omicron coronavirus variant was less severe for adults, as it published its updated briefing on the variant.


11:50am - Acting Auckland Council Director Customer and Community Services Mirla Edmundson told Newshub the council is aware of the planned event, but does not support it.

"As the landowner of the grounds, the council does not permit, endorse, or support this event going ahead and we have written to the organisers to make our position on this clear," Edmundson said in a statement.

"While we respect people's rights to peaceful protest, we have serious concerns that the gathering may result in the spread of COVID-19 and risk the health of Aucklanders."

Edmundson said there are no activities booked for the velodrome this weekend.

"We will be keeping the access gates locked in a bid to prevent damage to Auckland Council property, and have put the organisers on notice that we will seek any costs for repairs from them, should they be required as a result of this weekend’s activity," the statement said.

"We are in touch with the Police and will support them in any action they deem necessary on the day to prevent a breach of the law or damage to public property."

Latest on the COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday January 15
Photo credit: Newshub

11:30am - Kia ora, good morning and welcome to Newshub's live updates for Thursday.

Police say they expect disruptions in Manukau City centre from midday as a protest by the Freedom Rights Coalition gets underway. 

In a statement police said: The protest is expected to involve Great South Road, Te Irirangi Drive, Manukau Station Road and others in the vicinity.

Police will be monitoring the event while recognising individuals have a lawful right to protest.

Police ask the community to be patient on the roads and avoid the area if possible, as we expect there may be traffic delays and disruptions.