There are 126 new community Covid-19 cases today across 11 regions as Cabinet prepares to meet to discuss the reopening of NZ's borders.
Seventy-nine cases were also detected at the border, the Ministry of Health said in its 1pm statement. They arrived from the Netherlands, UAE, US, UK, Australia, Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Pakistan, Iran, Ireland, Egypt, France, Lebanon, Serbia, Singapore and Fiji.
Today's new community cases are in Northland (5), Auckland (84), Waikato (20), Lakes (1), Bay of Plenty (8), Tairāwhiti (2), Taranaki (1), Hawke's Bay (2), Wellington (1), Nelson Marlborough (1), and Canterbury (1).
Cases were also announced by health authorities in Taranaki, Hawke's Bay, and Canterbury but had missed the ministry's daily cut-off period for reporting.
These include three cases in Hāwera who were all known contacts of the town's previously reported case and had been self-isolating.
Eight people are in hospital with the virus - five in Middlemore, and one each in North Shore, Auckland and Waikato hospitals. No one is in ICU or HDU.
The average age of those in hospital with the virus is 55.
As the Omicron variant has now become the "dominant" strain, the ministry says it will no longer be publicly advising the case variant in its updates.
Of the five Northland cases, three were in Kerikeri, one was in the Bay of Islands and one was in Whangārei, health authorities said. Four were linked to previous cases and one was under investigation.
The bulk of today's new cases - 84 - are in Auckland. Health and welfare providers are supporting 1177 people to isolate at home, including 427 cases.
Eighteen of the 20 new cases in Waikato are linked to previous cases and the remaining two are under investigation.
There was one new case in Rotorua which had been linked to a previously reported case.
Bay of Plenty
The eight new cases in the Bay of Plenty are all linked to previous cases. Two are in Tauranga and six are in the Western Bay of Plenty region.
The two new cases in Tairāwhiti are linked to previous cases.
There was one new case to report in New Plymouth today. The person is a household contact of a previously reported case.
Hawke's Bay's two new cases are linked to previously reported cases.
Additionally, health officials announced another Hawke's Bay case, with links yet to be established, that would be officially added to the ministry's case numbers tomorrow.
One of today's new community Covid-19 cases was in Hutt Valley. The person is a household contact of a previously reported case.
There is one new case in Nelson Marlborough today, which is linked to a previously reported case.
The one new case reported in Canterbury today is linked to a previously reported case.
There are a further four linked cases in Canterbury, the ministry said, but they would be added to the official case tally tomorrow.
The seven day rolling average of community cases is now 84.
Vaccinations and tests
As of today, 96 per cent of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, 94 per cent have had their second dose and 68 per cent have received a booster.
Yesterday, 691 first doses and 1141 second doses of Covid vaccine were administered.
Ninety per cent of eligible Māori aged 12-plus have received one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and 85 per cent have had two doses.
For Pacific peoples, 97 per cent have had their first dose and 94 per cent have received two.
Of eligible Māori children, aged 5-11, 19 per cent have received their first dose of the vaccine, while 25 per cent of Pacific children have received their first dose.
In the last 24 hours, 18,110 Covid-19 tests were taken - including 8812 in Auckland.
The seven day rolling average for tests is 20,705.
Schools hit by Covid
Meanwhile, thousands of students around the country are heading back to school this week and two south Auckland schools have been impacted by Covid infections in teaching staff.
In Queenstown today, National leader Christopher Luxon said he wants to get enough free rapid antigen tests into schools so that they can conduct twice-weekly surveillance testing for all students, teachers and staff.
With a national school roll of just over 800,000, this means 1.2 million tests would be needed.
A surge in Omicron cases is expected this week.
Yesterday there were 91 new cases in the community and 39 cases of Covid-19 were detected at the border.
Ten people were in hospital with the virus - the average age of patients is 54.
There were no cases in ICU or HDU.
Case surge expected
Te Pūnaha Matatini modeller Dr Dion O'Neale said yesterday that daily cases could jump to 200 by the middle of the week, then double to 400 by the weekend.
"Almost every other place in the world that's had an Omicron outbreak's seen a doubling time of around three days. We'd expect New Zealand to be similar."
Meanwhile, Jacinda Ardern received a negative Covid-19 test result yesterday.
Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro also returned a negative test.
Ardern and Dame Cindy were forced to isolate on Saturday after a flight attendant on their flight from Kerikeri to Auckland tested positive for Omicron.
This came as a flurry of new locations of interest were added to the list yesterday.
A total of 24 sites connected to people with Covid-19 were posted throughout the day and included cafes, fast food restaurants, airport terminals and food outlets within some of those airport terminals.
With this, members of the public are being urged to continue to check the Ministry of Health's locations page.
Last night's update included Subway at the Auckland Domestic Airport and Kerikeri Airport, while this morning an Auckland wine bar and bistro became the latest high-risk exposure site to be added to the growing list.
The Ministry of Health is urging those who are eligible to get their boosters.
"With Omicron in New Zealand, the best thing you can do is get your booster as soon as it is due.
"Boosters lower your chances of getting very sick and being hospitalised. Being boosted also helps slow the spread of the virus," the ministry said.