Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit Update – Wednesday 15 June 2022

Local Government Response Unit main page

All of New Zealand remains in the orange traffic light setting.

Ministry of Health key stats to note

The Ministry of health is reporting that overall reported cases and hospitalisations have trended down in the past three weeks

The national weekly rate is falling, in the week ending 12 June the weekly case rate was down to 8.3 per 1000 people – a decrease from the previous week, which was 9.3 per 1000. The 7 day rolling average of cases is now around 6000.

Like case numbers, hospital admissions also fluctuate, but there has been a slow decline in total hospitalisations since the peak in March of 1,016. The Number of Covid -19 related hospitalisations has levelled off at around 375 each day

Epidemic Preparedness Notice

The Epidemic Preparedness Notice has been extended to 16 September

General health advice and testing information  

The Ministry of Health is preparing with DHBs for an expected winter serge of COVID 19 as well as other infectious diseases such as influenza and measles. This includes preparing for a possible increase of the load on hospital services and other impacts in the event of a COVID-19 variant that is more infections or severe than Omicron. Further health advice can be found here  COVID-19: About the Omicron variant | Ministry of Health NZ

As New Zealanders emerge from their bubbles, with winter approaching and the opening of New Zealand to the rest of the world, there is an increased risk of flu (influenza) in the community. Flu vaccines are your best defence from the flu. Flu vaccines are available to many people for free including people over 65s, Māori and Pacific people aged over 55, pregnant people, and people aged over 6 months with underlying health conditions. Additional information and advice on flu vaccines is provided by the Ministry of Health.

Councils are encouraged to use physical distancing where possible to ensure that staff remain safe. Also ensure that surfaces such as desks, door handles , phones, and light switches are cleaned and sanitised regularly as well as washing and sanitising hands and keeping up basic hygiene practices as well as keeping indoor rooms well ventilated by opening doors and windows where possible.         

The Ministry of Health provides advice on ventilation to help decrease the risk of contracting Covid.

If you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms and need to request a Rapid Antigen Test you can do so through the Ministry of Health’s Request Free Covid-19 RAT kits website  

It is important that if you do test positive using a RAT, then you need to report your test results. This can only be done online or by calling the  hotline on 0800 222 478

The Ministry of Health notes that there is a risk of contracting COVID-19 again within 90 days of a first infection. COVID-19 symptoms may be caused by other infections like the common cold, flu or a chest infection. Ministry of Health guidance covers information for the general public on reinfection

A reminder of the Orange Traffic Light Setting 

Under the Orange traffic light setting there are no capacity limits for indoor or outdoor gatherings. At indoor venues for unseated activities, if there are over 500 people, it is recommended capacity be limited based on 1 m distancing.

Face masks are required in indoor food courts unless you are eating or drinking as well as retail and public spaces such as supermarkets, shopping malls, pharmacies, petrol stations, and takeaway stores as well as premises operated by local and central government agencies, social service providers, and the New Zealand Police. Face masks are also required on all forms of public transport, taxis, rideshare services, and domestic flights. This also includes indoor arrival points for public transport and domestic flights.

The Ministry of Health notes that as a rule, face masks should be used whenever you are inside, with exceptions for your home and place of work if you are not public facing. Public facing employees are encouraged to wear masks. Informal advice from the Ministry of Health has recommended that as part of good infection control processes, people working in open plan offices with others should consider wearing masks.

My Vaccine Pass (MVP) and Mask Exemption Cards

A new My Vaccine Pass is now available. There is no legal requirement for businesses to use My Vaccine Pass, however, some businesses may choose to voluntarily keep MVP requirements as a condition of entry. MVP is available for anyone aged 12 an over who is up to date with their vaccinations for their age group and the type of vaccine they have received. This includes boosters for those over 18. Additional guidance for businesses that decide to use My Vaccine Pass  as an entry requirement is available on the website.

New Mask Exemption Cards will be administered by the Ministry of Health and advice is available. This is a communication card for people who have genuine reasons for not wearing a mask. It can be used on public transport as well as in retail venues. The card assists in explaining why a face mask is unsuitable. Communication Cards have previously been issues by the Disabled Person Assembly of New Zealand (DPA). If you have an existing card issued by the DPA, there is no need to request a new one.


The best way to protect yourself from Omicron is through vaccination and boosters. In order to be considered fully vaccinated a Booster is required

Tamariki aged 5-11 are eligible for the vaccine. To be considered fully vaccinated tamariki need to receive two doses at least eight weeks apart. Here is where to find additional information on vaccines for tamariki .  

Information on where to get vaccinations and boosters from can be found at Get your COVID-19 booster dose | Unite against COVID-19 (   

The Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group recommends that a second booster may be beneficial for those people who are at most risk of serious illness form Covid-19 and who have had a six-month gap since their previous booster. Most of these people will be eligible in July

The Ministry recommends those who are vulnerable during the winter peak should seek a second booster. This includes older people, residents of aged care facilities, residents of disability care facilities aged 16 years and over, severely immunocompromised people aged 16 years and over and who have received a three- dose primary course and a first booster.

Assistance and support available should you or your staff need to isolate

The Care in the Community approach aims to assist people with COVID-19 through the illness and reduce the risk of transmission.

Most people will be able to manage self-isolation with help from friends and whānau, however for those who require extra support if you have COVID-19 or are self-isolating - there is help available.

MSD also has a range of financial assistance through the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme and the COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment which local government staff can apply for if they are required to isolate and miss work.