Public health officials are continuing to manage Omicron cases in the community through rapidly isolating cases and contacts, contact tracing, and testing in order to slow the spread.
To date, there are 29 community cases of COVID-19 associated with the January Omicron Cluster — all are in isolation. Amongst these cases, today we are reporting an additional 10 community cases. These include:
- 1 case in Nelson Tasman that is a household contact of a previously reported case and was already isolating when they tested positive.
- 1 case in Palmerston North that is a household contact of a previously reported case and was already isolating when they tested positive.
- 2 cases in Tauranga. Both cases are in the same household and are isolating at home. Case investigations are ongoing but, at this stage, there are a limited number of exposure events associated with these cases.
6 cases in Auckland
All these cases have been linked, directly or indirectly, to a family event and other associated events in Auckland on the weekend of 15 and 16 January.
The number of cases and contacts are expected to grow given the highly transmissible nature of Omicron and as we learn more from case interviews.
In addition, the Ministry wants to thank the Nelson-Tasman family associated with this cluster for coming forward and getting tested when they became symptomatic. Their cooperation has been instrumental in identifying locations of interests, additional contacts, and cases, all of which helps slow the spread of Omicron in our communities. At this stage, it is believed the family became infected while in Auckland, not in the Nelson-Tasman region.
As part of our collective preparations for Omicron, please check your details are up to date with your regular healthcare provider and in the NZ COVID Tracer app.
We also continue to urge anyone with symptoms, or anyone who has been to a location of interest at the times notified, to isolate immediately and get tested promptly.
Second family event associated with Omicron cases
A case from the January Omicron cluster also attended a second private event in Auckland during their infectious period.
The exposure occurred on the evening of Sunday 16 January at the Pukekohe Indian Hall in Auckland.
Auckland Regional Public Health Service believe a large number of people attended this event.
Anyone at this location at the relevant times is asked to get tested immediately, and self-isolate until a negative result has been returned.
Please also record your visit online on the Locations of Interest website, or by contacting Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453. Further information, isolation and testing requirements will be provided by contact tracers.
Further locations of interest have been identified across Auckland and the Nelson Tasman region and will be published on the Ministry’s website as they are confirmed. We are encouraging everyone in these regions to check the locations of interest and follow the public health advice.
There will be people from outside of these regions who may have visited those locations at the same time period, so it is important for anyone who has been in these locations over the past week to check the website and see if they are included in that time the case was there.
It is also a timely reminder to all potential close contacts of a case to either call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or record their visit online to a location of interest and follow advice from a health professional, as this is advice is specific to an individual and the exposure event.
A reminder that there is a Section 70 notice in place which puts a legal requirement on all people who were at locations of interest at the relevant times to follow the instructions regarding isolation and testing. Failure to comply can result in a fine of up to $4,000 or imprisonment for up to 6 months.