Seven more people with Covid-19 have died in New Zealand, with 20,989 new community cases reported today.
The number of people in hospital has also risen to a record 856 people, with 20 in ICU, including 10 in Auckland.
The seven deaths reported today - the highest number of daily deaths New Zealand has seen in this outbreak - include five in Auckland, one in Waikato, and one in the Southern region.
One person was in their 50s, four were in their 70s, one was their 80s, and one person was in their 90s. Four were male and three were female.
Dr Andrew Old from the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre confirmed the deaths in a press conference today.
"It highlights that although Omicron is a mild illness for many people, for some it is not. Every death is a tragedy and our thoughts and condolences are with the families and loved ones of the people who have passed away."
The total number of publicly reported Covid-19 related deaths is now 98.
Today's new cases were in the Northland (765), Auckland (7240), Waikato (1,941), Bay of Plenty (1,352), Lakes (510), Hawke's Bay (855), MidCentral (682), Whanganui (188), Taranaki (519), Tairāwhiti (330), Wairarapa (174), Capital and Coast (1746), Hutt Valley (1044), Nelson Marlborough (443), Canterbury (2160), South Canterbury (136), Southern (878) and West Coast (22) DHBs.
There were 21,015 cases reported in the community yesterday and 773 people were in hospital with Covid-19, the Ministry of Health said.
There were also 23 new cases reported at the border today.
New Zealand has now had a total of 327,925 confirmed Covid-19 cases.
There were 7863 booster doses given yesterday, as well as 213 first doses; 748 second doses; 53 third primary doses; 686 paediatric first doses and 299 paediatric second doses.
Yesterday also saw a change in how Covid-19-related deaths were being reported.
Deaths are now automatically reported if a person dies within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test result, and will be broken into three categories:
- Where Covid-19 is the clear cause of death
- Where a person is found to have had Covid-19 when they died but it was not the cause of death
- When a person is known to have had Covid-19 when they died but their cause of death is not known
The self-isolation period for Covid-19 positive cases and their household contacts reduces to seven days from 11.59pm tonight.