As Covid-19 cases continue to soar in the community - most notably in Auckland - an epidemiology expert has sounded a warning to avoid crowded places and hospitality venues.
A new daily record of cases was again recorded yesterday, 1929 - a jump of 356 from Thursday.
And in the Auckland region, given the demand for tests, those waiting results have been told to expect delays in getting their results.
University of Canterbury Associate Professor of epidemiology Dr Arindam Basu says the trend of increasing numbers will continue for some time and the aim is to delay the jump as much as possible.
"The thing that is really going to delay the jump is getting yourself vaccinated, maintaining a certain distance, creating a bubble around yourself and staying safe."
He recommended anyone living in an area where there was a high risk of transmission, and especially in Auckland, avoided going to crowded places such as pubs and restaurants.
"Wherever you can find some people crooning or singing or doing some sort of recital. Those are the areas [that] definitely need to be avoided. This is virus that is an airborne virus and this is one thing one must keep in mind. Very fast spreading virus, airborne virus."
Give or take, New Zealand had done a really good job in its fight against the virus, Basu said.
"Of all the OECD countries we have done very well so far. We will do well. We will beat it again, it's just sticking to the first principles."
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health's Big Boost week, a nationwide campaign to encourage eligible New Zealanders to get their booster, ran from February 9 to 16.
The ministry said the week was successful, with 369,990 boosters administered, pushing the total number of people boosted past two million.
However, the Government's call-to-action fell well short of its aim to reach 100,000 people a day.
There were still 1 million New Zealanders aged 18 and over who were still to get their booster shot.
At the outset, the country's top health official was confident of getting 100,000 Kiwis boosted daily.
But Cyclone Dovi saw the boosters fall to 20,767 on Sunday and only 57,442 doses on its best day.
Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield told the Herald at least 50,000 daily boosters were expected at the start of the campaign, but he wanted to see that figure double.
"It'd be great to crack some days up in the 80s, 90s, even crack 100,000, we can do that," Bloomfield said.
Vaccination providers across the country were resourced to stay open later to more people.
People who were three months past their second dose and eligible for their booster had also been notified in a mass text/email initiative.
Bloomfield's target of 100,000 was aligned with the ambition of Super Saturday, a similar campaign which, in the end, saw more than 130,000 Kiwis get a vaccine in one day amid the Delta outbreak in October.
Super Saturday was New Zealand's only day of 100,000+ vaccinations. In 2022, the highest number of daily vaccinations recorded was 67,053.
Bloomfield said all efforts fed into the greater target of reaching 90 per cent of eligible Kiwis boosted by the end of February.
About 1.1 million people needed to get their booster in 17 days to reach 90 per cent by the end of the month - almost 65,000 per day.
When the interval between the second dose and booster was reduced to three months in early February, it meant a million more New Zealanders would be eligible for their booster shot.
Sixty-two per cent of those due their boost had received it as of yesterday's Ministry of Health update.
The greatest concentration of yesterday's community cases – 1384 - were in Auckland. The rest of the cases were in Northland (13), Waikato (155), Bay of Plenty (58), Lakes (9), Hawke's Bay (17), MidCentral (3), Whanganui (11), Taranaki (9), Tairāwhiti (8), Wairarapa (5), Capital and Coast (28), Hutt Valley (50), Nelson Marlborough (60), Canterbury (35), South Canterbury (7), and the Southern region (77).
Seventy-three people are in hospitals across the North Island with the virus and one person is in ICU or HDU.
Covid-19 testing sites, particularly in Auckland, have continued to be in high demand, including from asymptomatic people who are seeking tests for their own reassurance, meaning results were taking longer to process at laboratories.
While some results were being returned within 48 hours, others are taking longer.
The ministry advised Aucklanders to expect these delays and not to call Healthline to check the status of a test result as the service could not able to provide this information.