Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Home Health NZ Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Five deaths, Record 12,011 New Cases on...

NZ Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Five deaths, Record 12,011 New Cases on Day 1 of Phase 3


Five people with Covid-19 have died and there are a record 12,011 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, the Ministry of Health says.

There are now 39,413 active Covid-19 community cases in New Zealand.

Phase 3

The ministry said phase 3 was “a more devolved model” to ensure health resources are focused on those who need it most.

New Zealand moved to phase 3 of the Omicron response at midnight last night.

The shift means a greater focus on individual responsibility, rather than relying on health services to be able to cope and contact trace in the way they had earlier in the pandemic.

“Act as if you might have Covid, and behave accordingly to protect others including using masks and so on,” Dr Bloomfield has advised.

It was very important to the overall response that people self-report positive results for RATs through My Covid Record so heath officials could understand the size of the outbreak, the ministry said in a statement.

“We’d like to thank the thousands of people who have been tested and already self-reported positive RAT results.”

Under phase 3, only confirmed cases and household contacts of a confirmed case will need to isolate for 10 days.

A disparity between the new isolation rules and the border rules announced earlier this month has been flagged by director general of health Ashley Bloomfield.

Despite isolation requirements changing, people travelling under the new border rules from February 27 would get to skip MIQ but would still need to self-isolate.

Bloomfield has advised the Government of the matter.

A PCR test will also no longer be required to verify a positive RAT result – and RATs will be available across the country from testing sites, GPs, pharmacies and within workplaces. People will be able to self-report their positive results and notify contacts.

RATs will be free to those who require them for testing, and available for purchase for about $8 to $10.

Bloomfield said the PCR tests have served the country well and helped us understand the situation, but it was now at the stage where rapid antigen tests are the better option – given the high number of Covid cases in the community.


Meanwhile, calculation error on the part of the Government means vaccine mandates cover a quarter fewer people than initially believed.

It means the percentage of people covered by a Government mandate is just 30 per cent, not 40 per cent like the Government initially said.

This comes as the anti-mandate protest on Parliament grounds enters day 18.

While activity is quiet this morning, children were caught up in moves over territory yesterday as police manoeuvred more concrete blocks into place.

As riot police moved from Lambton Quay to a Bunny St blockade, several officers barged into camping areas and pulled some children out, along with adults caring for them.

The children were then stuck between riot police and a second line of police, until they were let through and able to cross the road towards the railway station.