There are 8028 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today and a further 16 Covid-related deaths, including a person aged between 10 and 19 years old.
There are 383 people in hospital with the virus, including seven in intensive care.
Of the people whose deaths were reported today, four were from Auckland, two were from Waikato, two were from Hawke's Bay, one was from MidCentral, two were from Taranaki, one was from Wairarapa, one from Wellington, two were from Canterbury and one person was from the Southern region.
One of the people who died was aged between 10 and 19 years old. Three people were in their 70s, six were in their 80s and six people were aged over 90.
The ministry said all 16 of the deaths reported today had occurred within the past seven days.
"This is a very sad time for whānau and friends and our thoughts and condolences are with them," the Ministry of Health said.
"Out of respect, we will be making no further comment on these deaths."
The locations of today's community cases are: Northland (169), Auckland (2584), Waikato (465), Bay of Plenty (274), Lakes (111), Hawke's Bay (257), MidCentral (217), Whanganui (76), Taranaki (251), Tairāwhiti (87), Wairarapa (88), Capital and Coast (744), Hutt Valley (301), Nelson Marlborough (281), Canterbury (1,225), South Canterbury (107), Southern (733), West Coast (55).
The location of three cases is unknown.
The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 5480, compared to last Tuesday when it was 4878.
However, the ministry said an increase in case numbers was not unusual after the long weekend.
"It will take more time before we are able to determine if this is part of a trend."
There are now 38,341 active community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, health officials have detected 94 imported cases of the virus.
The 383 hospitalised Covid patients are in Northland (four), Waitematā (71), Counties Manukau (43), Auckland (56), Waikato (33), Bay of Plenty (five), Lakes (19), Tairāwhiti (one), Hawke's Bay (nine), Taranaki (10), Whanganui (three), MidCentral (15), Wairarapa (nine), Hutt Valley (13), Capital and Coast (20), Nelson Marlborough (13), Canterbury (32), South Canterbury (four) and the Southern region (23).
The average age of hospitalised cases is 63.
On Covid-19 vaccinations, 95.2 per cent of eligible people have been double-dosed and 72.9 per cent of people aged 18 and older have had a booster.
Covid app details deleted
Today's numbers come as the Ministry of Health announces key personal aspects of the Covid Tracer App are being deleted as daily use plummets.
The ministry said today features on the digital diary used by 3.6 million people were "evolving" to better reflect the current pandemic response.
Meanwhile, New Zealanders over the age of 50 are now able to access a second booster shot of the Covid vaccine - but health professionals are expecting the fourth dose will be less popular.
Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall said the availability of the second booster has also been extended to health, aged-care and disability workers over the age of 30 - it is also recommended for those aged over 65 as well as Māori and Pacific peoples older than 50 and people who are severely immunocompromised.
Yesterday there were 5549 new cases in the community and a further 11 virus-related deaths were reported.
There were 383 people in hospital, including six in intensive care.
Today the Ministry of Health's Deputy Director-General of Data and Digital Shayne Hunter said changes to the Covid Tracer App app better reflected its current use and contribution to the response.
"While the app will still work, we're deleting the registration feature from the app and deleting the personal information shared by people when they registered," said Hunter.
"This is also part of our commitment to protect people's personal data and it's important to reassure people that contact tracers can still use other data sources if needed."
He said the app was developed comprehensively but quickly as one of the tools in the country's defence against Covid and remained incredibly proud of the product and the teams who developed it.
The app, which creates a digital diary of places people have visited through the use of a QR code on people's smartphone, had more than 3.6 million registered users.
Vax uptake concerns
Meanwhile Verrall said the combination of Omicron and flu was making this winter more challenging than normal.
"The best thing New Zealanders can do to ensure they and their families don't end up in hospital is to be up-to-date with their flu and Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters."
The second booster should be done six months after the previous dose, and postponed three months after a Covid-19 infection. It is not recommended for anyone who is pregnant and healthy.
However, with more than a quarter of people nationally who turned up for the first two Covid-19 vaccinations not returning for a third, Rotorua-based GP Cate Mills told RNZ that she expected those eligible would be even less interested in a fourth dose.
"It might only be 50 per cent," she said.
Otago University epidemiologist Nick Wilson was expecting more than half of those eligible for the fourth dose to take it.
"I would hope it would be much higher."
He wanted people to get vaccinated to keep them out of hospital and help ease the strain on the health system.
But he said many may only be able to get the fourth dose once winter was over - noting people were not supposed to get the jab within three months of having Covid-19 and must wait six months after their last shot.
Wilson said the six-month wait should be shortened "maybe even down to three or four months".
Verrall said the Ministry of Health's Covid-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group will continue to review new information on Covid-19 and vaccines and will make further recommendations on eligibility criteria as necessary.
People eligible for a second booster can get one without a prescription from walk-in and drive-through vaccination centres, booking online using BookMyVaccine or by calling the Covid Vaccination Healthline on 0800 282926. Flu shots are available by booking with GPs or local pharmacies.