It comes amid concern New Zealand may be hit with a second Omicron wave in winter.
What you need to know
- All of New Zealand is at the orange setting of the COVID-19 traffic light system.
- New Zealand recorded 7,441 new community COVID cases on Friday.
- Twenty-nine additional deaths of people with COVID-19 were reported.
- There are 398 people in hospitals on Friday, six of whom are in ICU.
- Location of new community cases: Northland (224), Auckland (2,503), Waikato (531), Bay of Plenty (220), Lakes (105), Hawke’s Bay (218), MidCentral (240), Whanganui (56), Taranaki (202), Tairāwhiti (61), Wairarapa (100), Capital and Coast (457), Hutt Valley (182), Nelson Marlborough (252), Canterbury (1,110), South Canterbury (154), Southern (742), West Coast (80), Unknown (4)
- Location of hospitalisations: Northland: 6; Waitemata: 52; Counties Manukau: 31; Auckland: 100; Waikato: 39; Bay of Plenty: 11; Lakes: 4; Tairāwhiti: 0; Hawke’s Bay: 11; Taranaki: 10; Whanganui: 1; MidCentral: 20; Wairarapa: 1; Hutt Valley: 9; Capital and Coast: 14; Nelson Marlborough: 7; Canterbury: 54; South Canterbury: 3; West Coast: 4; Southern: 21
These live updates are now over.
1:35pm - Public health advice remains a core part of the Government's response to COVID-19, with weekly meetings with ministers still happening, Dr Bloomfield says. He's confident that advice is still front and centre as the Government reopens the country's borders.
1:30pm - Dr Bloomfield says New Zealand's booster rates have levelled off at almost the same rate other countries which had initial high uptake. The infrastructure to administer booster rates remains, he says. Children's vaccine rates also aren't as high as what was wanted, Dr Bloomfield says.
1:25pm - He is "really impressed" with the number of people who are reporting their case results. Only about half of the cases being reported are positive.
Dr Bloomfield, who is leaving the ministry later this year, won't be reconsidering his resignation if another outbreak occurs. He's confident in the system, and the people in it, to respond.
1:20pm - The ministry is also planning for concurrent infection with influenza. The current flu vaccine is affording a good level of protection overseas, Dr Bloomfield says.
He recommends people continue to wear masks and stay home if they are unwell.
1:15pm - The Ministry of Health is doing modelling around potential cases over winter and resulting hospitalisations. One scenario shows a small peak in hospitalisations in coming weeks, before a large peak - potentially bigger than in recent months - in August. But another scenario shows just a small peak in September.
Anyone who has had COVID-19 should still ensure they have had a booster vaccine shot, Dr Bloomfield says.
1:10pm - While the case rate in the northern region is increasing, Dr Bloomfield says the quantity of the virus found in wastewater system hasn't increased. The positivity rate of people presenting to hospital also hasn't increased significantly.
This means the case rate increase may reflect more people reporting their positive results. People may not have reported over the recent public holidays, he says.
The Director-General says, after looking at the positivity rate of border workers who undergo surveillance, it's estimated only half of positive cases are being reported. Some of that may be because people are not having symptoms.
1:05pm - Two of the deathes being reported were people in their 20s and three were in their 30s.
Here's the ministry's comment:
Today we are sadly reporting the deaths of 29 people with COVID-19. The deaths being reported today include 14 people who have died in the previous two days, and an additional 15 people who died between 24 March and 7 May.
These deaths take the total number of publicly reported deaths with COVID-19 to 940 and the 7-day rolling average of reported deaths is 14.
Of the people whose deaths we are reporting today; six were from Auckland; one from Waikato, one from Taranaki, one from Tairawhiti, two from Hawkes Bay, two from Bay of Plenty, one from Whanganui, four from the Greater Wellington region, one from Nelson Marlborough, six from Canterbury, and four from Southern.
Two people were in their 20s, three in their thirties, three in their fifties, four in their sixties, six in their seventies, three in their eighties and eight over the age of ninety.
Of these people, fourteen were women and fifteen were men.
This is a very sad time for whānau and friends and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this time.
Out of respect, we will be making no further comment.
1pm - Dr Bloomfield has arrived. He tells reporters that there are 7,441 new community cases. The rolling seven-day average is 7548, down from 7555 last Friday. There have been 29 deaths, including a number of the past two months.
The Ministry of Health has provided this data:
Vaccinations administered in New Zealand
- Vaccines administered to date: 4,026,942 first doses; 3,978,667 second doses; 32,046 third primary doses; 2,642,593 booster doses: 262,081 paediatric first doses and 119,844 paediatric second doses
- Vaccines administered yesterday: 36 first doses; 69 second doses; 37 third primary doses; 1,014 booster doses; 30 paediatric first doses and 239 paediatric second doses.
- All Ethnicities (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 4,055,392 first dose (96.3%); 4,006,467 second dose (95.2%), 2,636,980 boosted (70.8% of those eligible)
- Māori (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 521,123 first dose (91.3%); 504,269 second dose (88.3%), 236,095 boosted (54% of those eligible)
- Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people aged 12+): 281,950 first dose (98.3%); 277,095 second dose (96.7%), 140,752 boosted (56.6% of those eligible)
- 5 to 11-year-olds all ethnicities: 259,169 first dose (54.4%); 116,974 second dose (24.6%)
- 5 to 11-year-olds - Māori: 40,872 first dose (35.4%); 13,425 second dose (11.6%)
- 5 to 11-year-olds - Pacific Peoples: 23,547 first dose (47.7%); 6,834 second dose (13.8%).
Note that the number for “People vaccinated” differs slightly from “Vaccines administered” as it includes those that have been vaccinated overseas.
Vaccination rates for all DHBs*
- Northland DHB: first dose (90.1%); second dose (88%); boosted (67.4%)
- Auckland DHB: first dose (99.1%); second dose (98.2%); boosted (73%)
- Counties Manukau DHB: first dose (96.2%); second dose (95%); boosted (65.8%)
- Waitemata DHB: first dose (96.5%); second dose (95.6%); boosted (70.8%)
- Waikato DHB: first dose (95.1%); second dose (93.6%); boosted (66.3%)
- Bay of Plenty DHB: first dose (95.1%); second dose (93.4%); boosted (65.5%)
- Lakes DHB: first dose (93.1%); second dose (91.3%); boosted (65.8%)
- MidCentral DHB: first dose (96.4%); second dose (95.2%); boosted (71.8%)
- Tairāwhiti DHB: first dose (93%); second dose (90.8%); boosted (65.4%)
- Whanganui DHB: first dose (91.9%); second dose (90.4%); boosted (71%)
- Hawke’s Bay DHB: first dose (97.3%); second dose (95.7%); boosted (69.3%)
- Taranaki DHB: first dose (94.6%); second dose (93.3%); boosted (67.6%)
- Wairarapa DHB: first dose (96.4%); second dose (94.9%); boosted (72.6%)
- Capital & Coast DHB: first dose (98.4%); second dose (97.8%); boosted (79.2%)
- Hutt Valley DHB: first dose (96.6%); second dose (95.6%); boosted (74.6%)
- Nelson Marlborough DHB: first dose (96.4%); second dose (95.2%); boosted (73.1%)
- West Coast DHB: first dose (92.6%); second dose (91.2%); boosted (71.1%)
- Canterbury DHB: first dose (99.8%); second dose (98.9%); boosted (74.1%)
- South Canterbury DHB: first dose (94.7%); second dose (93.7%); boosted (74.1%)
- Southern DHB: first dose (98.5%); second dose (97.5%); boosted (72.9%).
*Partially and second doses percentages are for those 12+. Boosted percentages are for 18+ who have become eligible 3 months after having their second dose or 16 and 17 year olds who have become eligible 6 months after having their second dose.
- Cases in hospital: total number 398: Northland: 6; Waitemata: 52; Counties Manukau: 31; Auckland: 100; Waikato: 39; Bay of Plenty: 11; Lakes: 4; Tairāwhiti: 0; Hawke’s Bay: 11; Taranaki: 10; Whanganui: 1; MidCentral: 20; Wairarapa: 1; Hutt Valley: 9; Capital and Coast: 14; Nelson Marlborough: 7; Canterbury: 54; South Canterbury: 3; West Coast: 4; Southern: 21
- *Average age of current hospitalisations: 59
- Cases in ICU or HDU: 6
- Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region only, excluding Emergency Departments): Unvaccinated or not eligible (30 cases / 13%); partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose (7 cases / 3%); double vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (56 cases / 24%); Received booster at least 7 days before being reported as a case (141 cases / 60%); unknown (2 cases / 1%).
*Please note the average age of current hospitalisations is for the Northern Region admissions only at this stage. This data is recorded and extracted from the same source as the vaccination status of patients in Northern Region hospitals.
- Seven day rolling average of community cases: 7,548
- Seven day rolling average (as at same day last week): 7,555
- Number of new community cases: 7,441
- Number of new community cases (PCR): 261
- Number of new community cases (RAT): 7,180
- Location of new community cases (PCR & RAT): Northland (224), Auckland (2,503), Waikato (531), Bay of Plenty (220), Lakes (105), Hawke’s Bay (218), MidCentral (240), Whanganui (56), Taranaki (202), Tairāwhiti (61), Wairarapa (100), Capital and Coast (457), Hutt Valley (182), Nelson Marlborough (252), Canterbury (1,110), South Canterbury (154), Southern (742), West Coast (80), Unknown (4)
- Number of border cases: 78
- Number of active community cases (total): 52,826 (cases identified in the past 7 days and not yet classified as recovered)
- Confirmed cases (total): 1,026,715
Please note, the Ministry of Health’s daily reported cases may differ slightly from those reported at a DHB or local public health unit level. This is because of different reporting cut off times and the assignment of cases between regions, for example when a case is tested outside their usual region of residence. Total numbers will always be the formal daily case tally as reported to the WHO.
- Number of PCR tests total (last 24 hours): 4,026
- Number of Rapid Antigen Tests reported total (last 24 hours): 15,013
- PCR tests rolling average (last 7 days): 3,530
- Number of Rapid Antigen Tests dispatched (last 7 days as of 13 May 2022): 1.7 million.
12:55pm - The livestream can now be found above. Refresh your page if you cannot see it.
12:50pm - Updated COVID-19 vaccine passes will be available to those Kiwis who want one from later this month.
From May 24, an updated version of the My Vaccine Pass will be available for download, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said on Friday.
The updated passes will be available for anyone aged 12 and over and who is up-to-date with their vaccinations for their age group and the type of vaccine they have. This includes boosters for those over 18. Previously, boosters, which were rolled out after passes were introduced, weren't required to receive a pass.
12:40pm - Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live updates for Friday. We are expecting Dr Ashley Bloomfield to hold a press conference at 1pm with an Omicron update. This is the first press conference about COVID-19 from him in weeks.
We will stream that above closer to 1pm.