446 new community cases in New Zealand today

There are a record 446 new community cases of Covid-19 being reported today.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the new cases are in Northland (16), Auckland (340), Waikato (48), Lakes (13), Bay of Plenty (14), Lakes (13), Taranaki (1), Hutt Valley (7), Capital & Coast (4), and Southern (3).

The ministry said the number of cases would continue to fluctuate from day-to-day but "our expectation is that cases will continue to increase in the coming weeks".

"All of us can all play our part to slow the spread of the virus, help protect our most vulnerable people from being infected, and ensure our health system is able to manage extra demand for services," it said.

The ministry confirmed yesterday there were two new cases in Queenstown and one new case in Dunedin, who had travelled to Wanaka and Cromwell while infectious.

There were 306 cases yesterday.

Today there are 23 cases in hospital in Auckland, Rotorua and Christchurch. None of them are in ICU.

The average age of current hospitalisations is 49.

The ministry said there are 32 cases in MIQ, with people travelling from the US, UAE, India, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

There have now been 18,936 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand since the pandemic began - 2874 of those are active cases.

The ministry said in the last 24 hours 23,146 Covid-19 tests have been processed.

On vaccinations, there were 50,427 vaccine booster doses given yesterday, as well as 695 first doses; 1,519 second doses and 2,041 paediatric doses.

The ministry said it was great to see that 43 percent of children in the 5 - 11 age group have already had their first dose.

"We want as many children as possible to be protected through vaccination."

Many vaccination centres will be open extended hours over the weekend to encourage people to get their booster, the ministry said.