Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: There are 1,480 new cases in the Lake District and Bay of Plenty health board areas

A rapid antigen test (RAT). Photo / NZME A_280222SPLRAT4

There are 34 people with Covid-19 in hospital in the Bay of Plenty District Health Board area and 13 in the Lakes Health Board area today.

It comes as 1,023 new cases in the Bay of Plenty DHB area and 457 in the Lakes DHB area were reported by the Department of Health.

These include both PCR and RAT tests.

There are 15,540 new community cases in New Zealand today with 952 people hospitalized with the virus.

There were two new deaths linked to Covid-19, one in Waikato and one in Canterbury.

Both individuals were women over the age of 70.

The total number of publicly reported Covid-19 deaths to date is 115.

The ministry is urging anyone with symptoms to get tested and, if using a RAT test, to record whether it is positive or negative on My Covid Record.

Toi Te Ora-Public Health today reported 596 new cases in Tauranga City, 306 in Rotorua District, 171 in Western Bay of Plenty, 171 in Whakatāne District, 45 in Kawerau , 40 in Ōpōtiki and 151 in Taupō.

There are 12,444 active cases in the Bay of Plenty DHB area and 5,151 in the lakes.

Later this week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to make an announcement at the border on when tourists must come to New Zealand to be pre-bought.

According to the government’s initial plan, tourists could return to the final stage by October.

It is now expected to be even earlier than mid-year.

Over the weekend, working holiday visa holders began to return and they were part of the workforce that would help support tourists, Ardern said.

Meanwhile, experts are increasingly sounding the alarm about Long Covid – the catch-all term for a range of symptoms that can occur weeks or months after a person is infected with the virus.

These symptoms can affect even people whose initial illness was mild. Although it’s too early to tell if Omicron’s long tail Covid will be similar to previous strains of the virus, medical experts say infections shouldn’t be treated as harmless.

People should always avoid getting infected if possible and take time to recover if they get sick.

Nearly three-quarters of schools and early learning centers across the country are grappling with Covid-19 cases, according to the latest update from the Health Ministry.

The proportion is even higher in Auckland, where 86% of schools deal with cases.

Primary schools are the most affected, with 646 across the country dealing with Covid-19 cases, compared to 173 secondary schools and 57 middle schools.

Just over 470 awakening centers have also been affected by Covid-19.

“Schools/kura and Early Learning Services (ELS) have put in place layers of preventative measures to protect teachers/support staff, students and children. Public health advice has remained consistent throughout long Covid-19 response that school/kura environments pose a lower risk for transmission of Covid-19.

“We know that the more layers of protection in place (e.g. good hygiene practices, hand washing, ventilation, regular cleaning and disinfection of high touch areas, etc.), the more difficult it is for the virus from transmitting”, Sean Teddy, Hautū of Operations and Integration/Te Pae Aronui of the Ministry of Education.

More than 46,000 cases of Covid-19 have been linked to schools in the past 10 days, the Department for Education said.

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