There is one new Covid-19 case in Taranaki today, bringing the total number of active community cases in the region to three.
Today's case, a household contact of a previous case and linked to the Eltham cluster, came in after today's cut-off time, so will be reported alongside tomorrow's numbers.
In an emailed statement, the Taranaki District Health Board (TDHB) confirmed the new case was a primary school-aged child who has been in isolation over the holiday period.
Yesterday, two Covid cases were reported in Taranaki, and were included in today's official numbers because they came in after the Ministry of Health reporting cut-off time. Public health staff are still investigating any links they may have to previous cases and determining any other locations of interest.
Already announced as a location of interest was the Taranaki Base Hospital's emergency department. The TDHB is working with those affected but no staff have been required to stand down at this stage.
Anyone at the emergency department between Saturday, January 1 at 6.30pm and midnight on Sunday, January 2 is considered a casual contact.
In positive news for Taranaki, the TDHB has also officially fully vaccinated 90 per cent of its residents today.
Bevan Clayton-Smith, Taranaki Covid-19 Vaccination programme senior responsible officer, says reaching 90 per cent is a positive start for the year.
"With the arrival of Covid-19 in the region on a scale we haven't seen before just before Christmas, and the very real threat of Omicron, reaching this level of protection in the community really is the best start for the year we could have hoped for."
Vaccination rates for Māori are also cause for celebration, with first doses now at 87 per cent and second doses at 79 per cent, putting Taranaki at 8th equal out of 18 district health boards nationally.
"Reaching this milestone within our Māori community is testament to the dedication and efforts of our Māori health partner-providers Tui Ora, Ngātu Ruanui and Ngāruahine, Te Aranga, local GP clinics and pharmacies as well as TDHB vaccination teams," says Bevan.
Yesterday was the first day clinics were open in 2022, and 1516 vaccinations were administered across the rohe over the course of the day. Bevan says the demand was driven by those wishing to get their booster shots, with around 15,000 Taranaki people eligible in January after the change from six months down to four months between doses, announced by the Government late last year.
Taranaki has now administered booster shots to 90 per cent of those eligible for them, ahead of the national average of 74 per cent. This figure puts Taranaki in the lead across the country's health boards, with the next closest sitting on 82 per cent.
"Booster shots are essential in keeping the rate of transmission and infection down, and together with the roll-out of vaccinations for our tamariki, this will be the main focus of activity for the next few weeks," says Bevan.