There are 6498 new Covid community cases today as health officials warn that visitors to hospitals are infecting patients.
The Ministry of Health reported a further eight Covid-related deaths.
Of today's deaths three were from Auckland region, two were in Waikato, one was from Taranaki, one was from MidCentral, and one was from Whanganui. All were from the past two days.
One person was aged in their 60s, four were in their 80s, and three were aged over 90. Of these people, four were women and four were men.
Today's eight Covid-related death reported today take the total number of reported virus-related deaths to 1567.
There are 487 people in hospital with the virus, including 11 in intensive care.
There are 487 Covid patients in hospital. They are in Northland (seven), Waitematā (114), Counties Manukau (44), Auckland (34), Waikato (38), Bay of Plenty (22), Lakes (23), Hawke's Bay (13), MidCentral: (14), Whanganui (five), Taranaki (12), Tairawhiti (two), Wairarapa (nine), Capital and Coast (40), Hutt Valley (seven), Nelson Marlborough (10), Canterbury (57), South Canterbury (seven), West Coast (two) and the Southern region (27). The average age of patients in hospital is 63.
Today's seven-day rolling average of community cases is now 7046 - while this time last week it was 5129.
Meanwhile, the seven-day rolling average of Covid-19 hospitalisations is 420 while it was 335 this time this week.
The Ministry of Health said in a statement that there had been an increase of Covid-positive Waitematā inpatients - including an outbreak at a community site.
There was also evidence of visitors to North Shore Hospital passing Covid on to patients.
"The public is reminded to stay away from hospital if unwell and to respect hospital rules if they do visit, wear an approved mask at all times, practice good hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette as well as maintain physical distancing of at least one metre."
Earlier today the Hauora Tairāwhiti health provider, which includes Gisborne, warned infections were again on the rise, with between 38 and 88 cases over the past week.
"There are now 394 active cases, which is double what we had two weeks ago," the former district health board posted on Facebook today.
Experts are now warning New Zealand is facing a second wave of coronavirus infections as cases of the Omicron subvariant BA.5 spread around the country.
Yesterday there were 4924 community cases of the virus and 11 deaths, but the seven-day rolling average has grown to 6895, almost 2000 more than a week ago.
There are currently 48,242 reported active cases in New Zealand.
The numbers of people in hospital continue to rise, with 424 people in wards with the virus, including seven in intensive care.
University of Canterbury professor and Covid-19 modeller Michael Plank told RNZ infections could potentially hit a similar peak to the first March wave of around 20,000 cases per day.
"We can see in the genome sequencing data that this variant has been spreading much faster than the previous variant that we have, so it's quite likely that this will lead to a significant second wave in the weeks ahead," he said.
Plank said the number of infections among people over the age of 70 were already at an all-time high, as immunity from vaccination and first-wave infections waned.
This morning, Housing Minister Megan Woods told AM that Covid protection settings were reviewed a week ago and a decision was made to stay at the Orange setting.
While February's outbreak saw the country move to red at 10,000 daily cases, Woods said settings weren't solely triggered numerically but on a more nuanced set of factors.
This included where and how transmission was taking place.
She said there remained a lot of scope at Orange to prevent Covid spread including getting vaccinated, wearing masks, testing when feeling symptomatic and staying home when ill.
Last week, Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall said that moving back to Red was unnecessary as the virus was still being managed at this level.
Woods scotched suggestions of introducing a mandatory isolation for flu, an idea touted by epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker, saying no discussion had taken place at government level.
"We certainly haven't considered any mandatory isolation period for the flu," she said.
Her comments came as Health Minister Andrew Little posted on social media that he had contracted Covid.
Last week, acting Prime Minister Grant Robertson announced he had tested positive for Covid but was well enough to work remotely while he recovered.