This update shares key information about the government’s response to COVID-19. 

Key things to note:
• Preparing for a move to Phase 2 of the Omicron Plan.
• There are 126 new cases of COVID-19 in the community and 79 new cases identified at the border.
• There are currently 8 cases of COVID-19 in hospitals across New Zealand, none of which are in ICU.
• Government secures extra 36 million rapid antigen tests (RATs)
• 22,508 boosters were administered yesterday, taking the total to date to 1,324,160. 94% of New Zealanders are now fully vaccinated.

Update on Omicron plan
• The Government is preparing for a move to phase 2 of the Omicron plan.
• Phase 2 of the Omicron plan includes starting to integrate RATs into testing to ensure a return-to-work programme for critical businesses.
• New Zealand remains in the early stages of an Omicron outbreak and cases will continue to grow.
• The country has been in the Red setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework for just over a week. Good progress is being made to increase vaccine protection, in the last week there has been a 24% increase in people getting boosted and 67% of eligible people have now receive their booster.
• More information on the phased approach is attached and linked to the Ministry of Health’s website.

RATs Supply Update
• Government has secured an extra 36 million rapid antigen tests (RATs).
• These additional 36 million are on top of the 16.9 million orders already confirmed for delivery in February.
• Along with the 5.1 million tests already in the country, New Zealanders will have access to over 55 million rapid antigen tests (RATs) in the coming two months.
• A total of 123 million have been ordered through to June.
• There will be enough tests in the country over the coming months for every New Zealander to be tested twice a week/ a quarter of New Zealanders to be tested every day during the peak.
• Modelling shows at the peak of an Omicron outbreak 9 million RATs will likely be used.
• In the past week, two more types of rapid antigen test have been approved for use in New Zealand, brining the total number to 11, with several more going through the approval process.

Vaccination update
• 22,508 boosters were administered yesterday taking the total to date to 1,324,160 (68%).
• 5,826 paediatric doses were administered yesterday bring the total to 169,316.
• Boosters lower the changes of getting very sick and being hospitalised from COVID-19 including the Omicron variant and help slow the spread of the virus.
• Vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible people): 4,041,784 first doses (96%), 3692,959 second doses (94%).
• The Ministry continues to share 5-11 age band vaccination data by DHB level and ethnicity.
• Data on the vaccination rates of 5-11 year olds will be reported here daily: COVID-19: Vaccine data | Ministry of Health NZ