16 Dec 2021

Covid-19: 91 new community cases in New Zealand - Ministry of Health

1:45 pm on 16 December 2021

There are 91 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today.

This photo taken on August 13, 2021 shows a laboratory technician wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) working on samples to be tested for the Covid-19 coronavirus at a Covid-19 testing facility in Yangzhou in China's eastern Jiangsu province.

(File image) Photo: AFP

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said of the new cases, 55 are in Auckland, 7 in Waikato, 10 in Bay of Plenty, one in Lakes and 16 in Taranaki.

There are 58 cases in hospital, with four people in ICU.

The Ministry says of the people in hospital 30 are unvaccinated or not eligible, nine had received only one dose or were under seven days from their second dose and 10 were fully vaccinated at least seven days before being reported as a positive case. The vaccination status of four cases was unknown. All the figures relate to cases in the Northern Region.

In the last 24 hours, 28,946 tests were processed.

Four cases were also identified at the border.

The ministry says a wastewater sample collected in Gisborne on 14 December detected Covid-19, indictating there may be unknown cases in the Tairāwhiti community. This is the sixth positive wastewater sample to be collected in recent weeks.

There are two new cases in Ruakākā who are known contacts of an existing case and were already isolating when they tested positive.

Of the new cases in Waikato, five are in Hamilton, one is in Te Kūiti and one case will be reported as in Waihi.

The case in Waihi tested positive outside of the town but will be isolating at home from today. As such, there are no locations of interest for Waihi at this stage.

Of the Bay of Plenty cases, eight are in the Tauranga area, and three are in the wider Western Bay of Plenty.

The case in the Lakes DHB is in Rotorua.

In Taranaki, there are 16 new cases in Eltham although 15 of these cases were announced yesterday and are being officially added to the case tally today.

More than 82,000 rapid antigen tests have been sent to 531 pharmacies to date, with 256 pharmacies having received these by 1pm.

The ministry says severe weather around the country disrupted deliveries of the tests to some pharmacies. Deliveries are being prioritised for city centres, summer hot spots and travel junctions.

Changes to reporting of cases

From today, the ministry will move its reporting timeframe of cases from the current 9am cut-off period to midnight every 24 hours.

It means that today's reporting period is only for 15 hours (from Wednesday 9am to 11.59pm) as opposed to 24 hours, to allow for the change to happen.

The Ministry of Health will continue to publish an update at 1pm on its website and Twitter account over the holidays, apart from on 25 December, 1 January, and 8 January.

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