Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Cases pop up in multiple school communities as students settle into class

A number of school communities are reporting positive Covid-19 cases as 188 new community cases across the country were reported yesterday and 14 people fight the virus in hospital.

Yesterday it was reported four children at Te Mata Primary in Havelock North had contracted Covid-19.

A Hawke’s Bay DHB spokeswoman said the school would remain open for on-site learning for those not impacted. Students and close contacts self isolating would have access to distance learning.

At the red traffic light setting, students can attend schools, early learning services and kura but public health measures, including mask requirements for students aged 8 and older or Year 4 and up, are in place.

School staff and teachers supporting and teaching students in Years 4 and up must also wear a facemask.

In Waikato, Hamilton Boys’ High School headmaster Susan Hassall confirmed to the Herald that a Year 11 student had tested positive for the virus.

And 80 students and seven staff members from a Hamilton Christian School are now required to isolate after a Year 7 pupil tested positive for Covid.

Meanwhile, parents of Rototuna Junior and Senior High School students were also sent a message on Sunday that a person with Covid-19 was at school on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.

And, according to a Facebook post on Sunday, a Covid-19 case has been detected in the Melville Intermediate School community as well.

In Auckland, correspondence seen by the Herald notes a staff member at Glen Eden’s Prospect School had also tested positive for Covid-19.

Cases peaked at a record daily high of 243 on Saturday but dipped slightly to 208 on Sunday before dropping again to 188 announced by the Ministry of Health yesterday.

The vast majority – 117 – of the community cases reported yesterday were in Auckland.

There were 16 cases in Northland, seven of which had already been announced in Sunday’s update. Of the other cases, six were in Kerikeri and three were in Whangārei.

Fifteen cases were in Waikato and all but three had been linked to previous cases as of 1pm yesterday. Nine of the Waikato cases were in Hamilton while there was one case each in Ōhaupō, Te Kūiti, Huntly and Waimiha.

There was also one case in Tairāwhiti reported by the health ministry yesterday, who was a household contact of an existing case and was already isolating when they tested positive.

In the Lakes DHB region, there were 12 cases which were all linked to known cases, bar one which was under investigation. Two of these cases were in Taupō and 10 were in Rotorua.

Twenty new community cases were identified in the Bay of Plenty yesterday; 18 were in Tauranga and two were in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. One of these cases would likely be deemed historical, the ministry said.

In yesterday’s 1pm update, the ministry also announced one case in Palmerston North, two in the Hutt Valley and three in Canterbury.

Fourteen people were in hospital with Covid-19 yesterday. Three were at North Shore, four were in Middlemore, three were in Auckland, one was in Waikato, two were in Rotorua and one person was in hospital in Christchurch.

To date, 96 per cent of those eligible have had their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and 94 per cent have had two doses.

For eligible Māori, aged over 12, 90 per cent have received one dose and 86 per cent have their second dose, while for eligible Pacific peoples 12 and over, 97 per cent and 94 per cent have received their first and second doses respectively.

On Sunday, 24,935 booster doses were administered, with 51 per cent of people due their booster having now received it.

Friday was the first opportunity for an estimated one million people in New Zealand to take advantage of the recently announced shortened timeframe between the second vaccine jab and booster shot.

The ministry said with Omicron in the country, one of the best things a person could do was get their booster as soon as it was due.

“Boosters lower your chances of getting very sick and being hospitalised. Being boosted also helps slow the spread of the virus.”

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