Covid-19: 3387 new community cases, 536 hospitalisations

The Ministry of Health reported 3387 new community cases of Covid-19 in Aotearoa on Monday.

There are 536 people in hospital with the virus, including 13 in intensive care.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers on Monday is 4230 – last Monday, it was 5288.

On Sunday, there were 2618 new reported community cases, the ministry said – the lowest since February.

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There were 15 people in intensive care and 557 hospitalisations on Sunday.

There are now a total of 1750 deaths confirmed as attributable to Covid-19, according to the ministry, which are deaths where Covid-19 is either the underlying cause of death or a contributing factor.

Omicron cases began spiking in late February, hitting a peak at more than 22,000 new daily community cases on March 9.

University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker said the lowest daily total for nearly six months was “good news”, as well as being very meaningful.

“The thing we’re all looking for, is we know we’re coming out of this second wave of Omicron – and we’re going to descend to a new plateau, just as we did after the first wave – but we don’t yet know what that plateau will be,” Baker said.

Lower numbers meant fewer people getting sick, fewer people going to hospital, fewer people dying in the future, and fewer people getting long Covid, he said.

The seven-day rolling average dropped by 1000 over the last week.

“The question will be how low will it go over the next few weeks?” said Baker.

“The biggest caveat of all, always, is that we don’t know what the virus will do in the future. This is the great question around the evolutionary biology of this virus. Will we get new variants, or sub-variants, that emerge internationally to take advantage of the ability to evade immunity?”

The seven-day rolling average of hospitalisations is 570 – last Monday, it was 660.

Cases in hospital: Northland: 26; Waitematā: 69; Counties Manukau: 62; Auckland: 56; Waikato: 70; Bay of Plenty: 18; Lakes: 10; Hawke’s Bay: 44; MidCentral: 15; Whanganui: 10; Taranaki: 12; Tairawhiti: 0; Wairarapa: 8; Capital Coast: 17; Hutt Valley: 12; Nelson Marlborough: 7; Canterbury: 67; West Coast: 3; South Canterbury: 14; Southern: 16.

The average age of Covid-19 hospitalisations is 63.