There are 4924 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today and a further 11 Covid-related deaths.
There were also 165 cases who recently travelled overseas.
There are 424 people in hospital with the virus, including seven in intensive care.
All 11 died in the past three days, the Ministry of Health said. Of those who died, three were from Auckland, one was from Taranaki, two were from MidCentral, two were from Canterbury and three were from Southern.
Five were women and six were men. Two were in their 60s, two in their 70s, four in their 80s and three aged over 90.
Of the people hospitalised, seven are in intensive care.
People hospitalised with Covid are in Northland (7), Waitematā (106), Counties Manukau (33), Auckland (41), Waikato (46), Bay of Plenty (4), Lakes (23), Hawke's Bay (11), MidCentral (11), Whanganui (3), Tairawhiti (2), Wairarapa (5), Capital and Coast (38), Hutt Valley (8), Nelson Marlborough (7), Canterbury (54), South Canterbury (4), West Coast (2) and Southern (19). Nobody is in hospital with Covid in Taranaki.
The average age of the people with Covid in hospital is 63. The seven-day rolling average of hospitalisations is 405. This time last week it was 336.
Among those in hospital, 44 are unvaccinated, five are only partly immunised, 58 are double-vaccinated and 242 have been boosted.
These are new hospital admissions from the past seven days, excluding those who were admitted and discharged within 24 hours. The data is only from DHBs with tertiary hospitals - Auckland, Canterbury, Southern, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Capital & Coast, Waitemata and Northland.
The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 6895.
There have now been 1560 publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 in New Zealand, with an average 14 deaths reported each day over the past week.
The seven-day rolling case average is well up on last week at 6895; last Sunday the seven-day average was 4908.
There are 48,242 active cases in New Zealand, defined as those identified in the last seven days who aren't yet recovered.
There were 2545 PCR tests in the last 24 hours and 8230 RAT tests reported.
Yesterday 31 first doses, 36 second doses and six third-primary doses of the adult vaccine were administered, while 3500 people got a booster shot.
Another 93 children aged 5-11 got a first dose of the paediatric vaccine, and 575 got their second shot.
Meanwhile, public health experts warn New Zealand may be seeing the start of a new surge in cases as a new, more infectious Omicron strain spreads across New Zealand.
Daily community cases were averaging 6825 over the seven days to Saturday - up more than 2000 on the previous week.
Hospitalisations are also up, with 423 people in hospital on Saturday with the virus, and 20 new deaths reported.
Otago University epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker told RNZ that followed a couple of months of declining case numbers.
"This is a very marked increase in numbers just in the last week - so I think that's very convincing," the public health expert said.
It wasn't clear how big the surge would be, but there were multiple factors affecting the numbers - particularly the arrival of new, more infectious Omicron subvariants BA.4, BA.5 and BA.2.12.1, he said.
A Covid-19 modeller says BA.5 cases are doubling every week, and will soon overtake BA.2 as the dominant strain. That could see New Zealand return to its March peak of 25,000 daily infections, according to Dr David Welch, a senior lecturer at Auckland University.
Welch said the rise was "alarming" but the public were not helpless in the face of the new strain. Many were eligible for more vaccinations against the virus, including a second booster shot for the most vulnerable.
"A lot of that makes a really big difference to outcomes. It's also a time for people to recognise a wave is coming and I think we've got pretty used to being fairly relaxed about seeing other people. It might just be time to start pulling back a bit."
Another Covid-19 modeller, Professor Michael Plank, has also warned the coming wave is of concern, given it's winter and emergency departments are already swamped with flu and many people have waning immunity from infection or earlier vaccinations.
New Zealand remains at the orange traffic light setting following a review this week. Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall said on Thursday that moving back to red was unnecessary as the virus was still being managed at orange.