With New Zealand expecting to see Omicron cases rise during the winter, the Orange traffic light setting remains appropriate for managing this stage of the outbreak.
While daily cases numbers have flattened nationally, they are again beginning to increase in the Northern region. Hospitalisation rates have also increased slightly over the past month. In addition, the latest COVID-19 modelling indicates that under current conditions, there is a likelihood of a secondary wave of cases appearing.
The COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) has effectively managed the Omicron outbreak at Orange. By following public health advice to remain at that setting, we can maintain some protections while ensuring businesses can continue to operate
Everyone should continue to be cautious and think about the health of others, especially those who are immunocompromised or at higher risk of long-term health impacts from infection. Please also get boosted, if you have not already.
Self-isolation, vaccination and wearing a face mask continue to be our main defences against COVID-19. You will need to continue wearing a face mask in many indoor settings.
It is encouraging to see case numbers remain steady, but there are other factors at play that tell us to remain cautious and not yet move to Green. These include the arrival of new strains of colds and flus, which will add to the workloads of our already busy hospitals.
The next review of the traffic light settings will be in late June.