The number of Omicron cases in the community has grown to 56, with 15 new infections of the variant being reported today.
There are among 23 new community cases of Covid-19 today, and six people are in hospital with the virus, the Ministry of Health announced.
The ministry said 56 community cases have been confirmed as an Omicron case through whole-genome sequencing, or are a suspected Omicron case because they have an identified link to a confirmed Omicron case.
That included 44 cases linked directly or indirectly, to a family event and other associated events in Auckland on the weekend of January 15 and 16.
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The 15 cases of Omicron being reported today are in Auckland, Taranaki, and Nelson Marlborough.
And there is a total of 12 cases linked to the three border workers reported earlier this month with confirmed or suspected Omicron - an increase of six, the ministry said in a statement.
Including the border workers themselves, there were now a total of eight cases associated with the MIQ border worker, who's infection was first reported on January 16.
There were three associated with the Auckland airport worker, first reported on January 21.
Meanwhile, there has been no additional cases linked to the Auckland airport worker. who's infection was reported on January 19.
Today's new community cases are in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Lakes, and Nelson Marlborough.
One case in Taranaki and two cases in Nelson Marlborough were noted after the Ministry's reporting deadline and would be formally added to the numbers tomorrow, the ministry said.
There are 12 new cases of the virus in Auckland.
In Waikato, there are three new cases of Covid-19.
One case is linked while investigations are underway to determine a link for the second, the ministry said.
The third case normally lives in the Waikato but was tested in Rotorua.
Health authorities announced a new case of Covid-19 in Taranaki that has been linked to the January Omicron cluster.
This person was on the same flight as the air crew member that is part of this cluster and has been isolating since being identified as a close contact.
Whole genome sequencing is underway but in the interim the case is being treated as a suspected Omicron.
All close contacts identified to date were in isolation and being tested for the virus.
Any additional exposure events and locations of interest will be published on the Ministry of Health website as they are identified.
Meanwhile, five new cases of Covid-19 have been detected in Rotorua.
Three are linked to previously reported cases and investigations are underway to determine a link for the remaining two.
The Ministry of Health announced an early childhood centre in Tauranga has been linked to a suspected Omicron case that first reported yesterday.
The case was present at the BestStart Pyes Pa on January 19 and was likely infectious at the time, the ministry said.
Everyone present at the childhood centre at the time were being treated as close contacts.
They were being asked to isolate and get tested immediately.
"Toi Te Ora Public Health is working with the Ministry of Education to establish a clear view on who was present at the centre on the day and is in the process of contacting those people."
There is one new case of Covid-19 in Wellington and investigations are underway to determine a link for the case.
There is also one new case of the virus in Northland. The person is linked to a previously reported case.
In the Nelson Tasman region, there are three new cases of Covid-19.
One of the people infected was part of a household that has been linked to the January Omicron cluster associated with several private events in Auckland over the weekend of January 15 and 16.
The other two were detected this morning and are under investigation.
The cases were being treated as suspected Omicron.
In total, there are 15 active cases in the region - 14 of which have been confirmed and one is considered probable - across three households.
All members of the impacted households are isolating at home, health authorities said.
"Public health would like to thank those who have come forward for testing, and the positive cases for their excellent help and co-operation in our investigations which is giving us the best chance of controlling the outbreak."
Of the cases reported today in the Nelson Tasman region, the Ministry of Health said one was included today's official tally and the remaining two would be included in tomorrow's numbers.
Yesterday, 1,485 first doses and 2,155 second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered.
And 583 third primary doses were given.
Eighty-nine per cent of eligible Māori have received their first Covid-19 vaccine injection while 84 per cent had received two doses.
In the last 24 hours, 27,925 Covid-19 tests were taken including 3,279 in Auckland.
The seven day rolling average for tests is 15,400.
The health ministry reiterated it's message for anyone in New Zealand with symptoms, no matter how mild they were, to get a Covid-19 test, even if they were vaccinated.
On the Omicron variant specifically, the ministry said public health officials would continue to manage cases in the community through rapid isolation of contacts and cases, contact tracing and testing.
Such measures would "slow the spread", the ministry said.
The ministry said it expected the number of cases and contacts to grow given the highly transmissible nature of Omicron and as health officials learned more from case interviews.
The ministry asked the public to ensure their details were up to date with their regular healthcare provider and in the Covid-19 Tracer app as part of the country's collective preparations for Omicron.
The number of active cases in New Zealand is 481.
There were 5,686 active contacts being managed in total of which 80% had received an outbound call from contact tracers and 79% had returned at least one result.
Thirty six new cases of Covid-19 have been detected at the border.
The seven day rolling average for border cases is 39.
The seven day rolling average for community cases is 27.
Of the six people in hospital with the virus, two are in North Shore, one is at Auckland, one is in Middlemore and two are in hospital in Rotorua.
The average age of those in hospital with Covid-19 is 68.
Meanwhile, Auckland has become the second DHB to fully vaccinate 90% of Māori within their rohe.
And South Canterbury has become the ninth DHB area to vaccinate 90% of Māori with a first dose.
The ministry said several other DHBs were getting very close to the milestone.
"This is an opportunity to recognise the mahi of Māori providers who have worked hard alongside local DHBs to lift Māori vaccination rates across the motu," the Ministry of Health said.
Yesterday, 15,102 paediatric doses of the vaccine were administered, bringing the total to 110,123.
There were 56,899 booster doses administered across the country yesterday, bringing the total to 1,110,408.
Omicron is continuing to creep into the community, nearly overtaking the number of Delta cases each day as the country anxiously waits for the Government to reveal more details about its plans to manage the ever-expanding outbreak.
It is expected to include whether the amount of time required to isolate will reduce and how critical workers who are close contacts will be able to use rapid antigen tests instead of self-isolating.
The 2pm announcement comes as thousands of people are expected to be told to stay home if they are identified as a contact of an Omicron case.
As of last night almost 1000 people were isolating after coming in contact with either a confirmed or suspected Omicron case over recent days.
Ten new Omicron cases were announced yesterday - part of 25 Covid-19 cases reported in the community by the ministry. Ten people were in hospital.
The 25 new cases were in Rotorua, Tauranga, MidCentral and Nelson Tasman.
Of those new community cases, at least six were in Auckland and are linked, directly or indirectly, to a family event including several weddings in the city on the weekend of January 15 and 16 when the Omicron cluster began forming.
And 89 of those people isolating have been associated with Ara-Tai Cafe in Auckland's Half Moon Bay, which was visited by an Omicron case last Tuesday for an hour and a half.
The number of people getting boosters has also increased since Omicron was confirmed in the community with more than 56,788 people getting their third boosters administered on Monday - the highest number in one day so far. More children also got their first jabs too.
The number of locations of interest linked to Omicron cases continues to grow with an Air New Zealand flight NZ5077 between Auckland and Nelson on January 16, an event at the Pukekohe Indian Community Centre on January 16 and Life Pharmacy in Motueka among the latest locations visited by people infected with Omicron.
New locations of interest for Delta cases are sill popping up around New Zealand and include Wellington, Kaitaia and Hamilton.
Wellington Domestic Airport latest among locations of interest
Wellington Airport and a check-in counter have become the latest exposure sites to be added to the growing list of locations of interest.
According to the Ministry of Health's advisory this morning, the locations are not linked to an Omicron case.
Anyone who was at the domestic airport, and specifically at the Jetstar check-in, on Monday this week between 6.30am and 9.40am are being asked to self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms.
"If symptoms develop, get a test and stay at home until you get a negative test result."
Meanwhile, more Auckland high-risk locations were added to the list yesterday, which now includes six flights, three bus routes, a liquor store, a bakery and a wedding that had up to 500 guests.
The Pukekohe Indian Community Centre became the second Auckland wedding location to be added to the list and a guest, who did not wish to be named, confirmed there was a crowd between 400 and 500 at the evening reception.
The Herald understands the Pukekohe wedding is separate from the wedding at Totara Event Centre in New Lynn on Saturday, January 15.
A family of nine from Motueka who attended the New Lynn wedding were some of the first positive Omicron cases in the outbreak.
Businesses warn of bare shelves after Government seizes Covid tests
The Government is seizing private supplies of rapid antigen tests to beef up its own stocks, according to multiple businesses.
Some are warning this will lead to supply chaos and empty shelves, as businesses will no longer be able to offer tests to staff. Others are now complaining they're having to explain to staff why tests they'd been promised might not arrive.
Rapid antigen tests (RATs), which are effectively banned for the general public to use, can be used by a number of corporates and their employees.
However a number of firms have reported being told by their supplier that their RAT orders are unable to be fulfilled because the Government is requisitioning them.
Katherine Rich, chief executive of the food and grocery council, which represents businesses that supply shops with food and drink, said multiple members of her organisation had been told their suppliers had been cancelled.
"They have been told that all available stock has gone to the Ministry of Health," she said.
Rich said that businesses were frustrated that they had done the right thing by planning ahead, only for the Government to take their stocks at the last minute.
"They have had plans, they have done the right thing, they put the orders in," she said.