18 Jan 2022

Covid-19 update on 18 January: 14 new community cases today, 30 at the border

2:30 pm on 18 January 2022

A household contact of the Omicron-infected MIQ worker in Auckland has today tested positive for Covid-19.

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Photo: AFP

The MIQ worker's positive result came as part of routine testing and was reported by the ministry on 15 January.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the household contact was symptomatic and already isolating.

So far, all the other household members have returned negative tests, it said.

As of this morning, 86 contacts have been identified in relation to the case - 75 have returned negative test results, and 10 people are yet to be tested.

"From the exposure events linked to the initial case, there are 10 people from the two bus journeys who are yet to be tested and are being followed up in person."

"The investigation into the transmission route continues and testing of staff from the Stamford Plaza facility continues today.

"Our objective is to stamp out and prevent any onward transmission."

Meanwhile, there are 14 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today and 30 in MIQ.

Thirty people are in hospital - including two people in ICU.

Of today's community cases, seven are in Auckland, six in the Lakes District (all in the Rotorua District) and one in Wellington.

All of today's Rotorua cases are linked to previously reported cases and isolating at home or in managed accommodation.

The new case in Wellington is a known contact of existing Wellington cases and has been in isolation.

Of the 30 Covid-19 cases in hospital, seven are in North Shore, 13 are in Auckland, nine are in Middlemore and one case was in hospital in Tauranga.

On wastewater testing, there were no unexpected results today.

In the last 24 hours there were 11,237 Covid-19 tests.

Earier today, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the ministry was looking at whether to tweak the traffic light system in the face of Omicron.

He said the system, based on vaccination certificates, was less suited to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Yesterday, 14,165 children aged five to 11 received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

"New Zealand's vaccine rollout remains our key defence against all variants of Covid-19, including Omicron. With 93 percent of the eligible population now double-dosed and the booster programme underway, New Zealanders are well protected," the ministry said.

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