Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit Update – Friday 14 January 2022

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Omicron and Business Continuity Planning

The Ministry of Health noted that the majority of cases detected at the border are Omicron cases. This aligns with international trends. As a result we are going to try to use the border to “protect” NZ as long as possible to allow time for further planning and to continue to increase the vaccination rate.

Omicron is known to be highly transmissible. If cases make it into the community we can expect numbers to double every 2 to 3 days – this could mean that many people will be affected and workplaces will have high levels of staff on leave either sick or in isolation (as high as 25%). As a result, council Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) will be critical if an omicron outbreak occurs in NZ – particularly in critical services. Whilst this is something you may have already considered, we recommend that you carry out a review and ensure your approach will be resilient in the face of Omicron. This will be the subject of discussion in the Webinar for CEOS next Wednesday.

The potential number of cases in the community will be higher and this will put pressure on all parts of the health system (from testing and tracing through to treatment). The public’s expectations about this will need to be managed as they will be different from the Delta outbreaks.

Whilst the planning assumptions for Omicron are different from Delta there is no reason at this time to move away from the current COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF).

Central government agencies are considering a range of options including additional protection in the event of an Omicron outbreak. We anticipate that these can be implemented within the existing framework.

As noted at the beginning we have been planning for the impact of Omicron. Over the next fortnight Taituarā is preparing a webinar for CEs which will cover a review of BCPs and communications. This will be followed by a webinar hosted by LGNZ for Mayors and Chairs re strategic communications for local leaders. Further information about these will be available next week.

Pfizer Booster

In December 2021 the government announced that the Pfizer booster roll out would be accelerated to protect Aotearoa New Zealand against the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Anyone aged 18 or older who has received their second vaccine at least four months ago is encouraged to get their free booster vaccine.

The booster when added to the two vaccines offers greater protection against the transmission of COVID-19 including the Delta and Omicron strains of the virus for yourself, whanau and wider community.

If your second dose was four to six months ago you can get your booster at walk in vaccination sites or you can book an appointment by phoning the COVID Vaccination Healthline 0800 28 29 26 (8 am – 8pm, seven days a week). From 17 January you can book online at

Anyone who is eligible for a third primary dose can access a booster four months after receiving their third primary dose.

More than 82 Percent of vaccinated New Zealanders will be eligible for a booster by the end of February 2022.

The booster is currently not required of the public to get a My Vaccine Pass

People who are a higher risk of severe disease or exposure to COVID-19 are encouraged to get their booster as soon as possible. These people include border and health care workers.

For workers who are covered by the Mandatory Vaccinations Order the Ministry of Health expects changes to be confirmed in January about compulsory boosters.


The booster for Astrazenica is also available for those who have received their second dose at least four months ago. The AstraZenica booster requires a prescription from either the vaccinating AstraZenica clinic or prior to your appointment from your preferred GP. Both visits to the GP and a prescription for the AstraZenica booster are free.

Pregnant People

Pregnant people aged 18 and above who have received their second vaccine at least four months ago are able to receive the booster at any time during their pregnancy. These people are encouraged to discuss the timing of their booster with their midwife, obstetrician, or general practitioner.

Help your workforce stay safe from COVID-19 over summer

The Ministry of Health has published guidance and to help you prevent or minimise the spread of COVID-19 during what can be a busy social period.

Help keep your people safe and well by sharing COVID-19 key summer health messages through your normal communications with your community.

Download key messages for summer or read more at Ministry of Health | Health guidance for summer

Information on current cases, COVID-19 test sites and economic support

There are 18 cases in the community today. Of these 11 are in Auckland, 4 in Waikato, 1 in the Bay of Plenty and 2 in Canterbury.

Everywhere in New Zealand except for Northland is in Orange. The next review of settings will be in the week of 17 January 2022.

Available testing sites can be found on the Ministry of Health website: Available testing sites.

Locations of interest can be found at Locations of Interest . This is being updated as soon as information is available.

Economic assistance is available for those impacted by the lockdown, more information available on the COVID-19 website , including details of the Business Boost package.