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Covid-19 update: 17 new community cases in New Zealand, 23 in MIQ

In a statement, the Health Ministry said there were 44 people in hospital, including five in intensive care.

It said there was no further spread of Omicron in the community after a third-border related case with the variant was reported yesterday. There are still no locations of interest or exposure events and the risk to the community from this case has been determined as "extremely low".

The 17 new community cases are in Auckland (5), Waikato (3), Bay of Plenty (9). There were also two new cases in Taranaki which will be officially added to tomorrow's tally.

The Emergency Department at Taranaki Base Hospital has also been identified as an exposure event. No staff have had to be stood down yet, but anyone at the Emergency Department between Saturday 1 January at 6.30pm and midnight on Sunday 2 January will be considered a casual contact.

The three cases in the Waikato today are linked, with two of the cases in Te Kuiti and one in Hamilton. The nine new cases in Bay of Plenty are all in the Tauranga area and linked to previously reported cases.

The 23 new cases in managed isolation came from Malaysia, Australia, India, USA, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

At the ministry's last update yesterday, there were 31 new community cases and 29 new cases of the virus at the border.

There has now been 11,003 cases in the current community outbreak and 14,030 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New Zealand since the pandemic began

From today the interval between the second dose and the booster shot has been reduced to four months - meaning almost one million people are now eligible to receive their third dose.

The Ministry said people can book an appointment with the Covid Vaccination Healthline team on 0800 28 29 26, or they can visit a walk-in vaccination site. It said more than 5300 booster shots were given yesterday, along with 403 first doses; 1410 second doses and 20 third primary doses.