Another 17 people have died with Covid-19 and there are 5630 new community cases, the Ministry of Health says.

Omicron variant. Covid-19. Coronavirus. Pandemic. Generic.The Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Photo: 123RF

In its latest update, the ministry said there were also 362 people in hospital with the virus, including four in intensive care or a high dependency unit. That compares with 391 hospitalisations and three people in ICU at the last update.

Of the deaths being reported today, fourteen deaths were recorded in June, with one death recorded in April and two in March.

The ministry said nine were from the Auckland region, one from Waikato, one from the Bay of Plenty, two from Taranaki, one from Hawke’s Bay, one from MidCentral, one from Canterbury and one from Southern.

One person was in their 50s, two were in their 60s, three were in their 70s, eight were in their 80s and two were aged over 90. One was a child aged under 10, the ministry said.

That takes the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 1432 and the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 12.

The new community cases being reported today were in Northland (167), Auckland (1,663), Waikato (352), Bay of Plenty (182), Lakes (73), Hawke’s Bay (179), MidCentral (176), Whanganui (58), Taranaki (173), Tairāwhiti (42), Wairarapa (57), Capital and Coast (493), Hutt Valley (224), Nelson Marlborough (240), Canterbury (941), South Canterbury (70), Southern (493), West Coast (45) and the location of two was unknown.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 4878 – last Tuesday it was 5983.

Yesterday there were 4024 new community cases and a further nine deaths.

There were also 65 new Covid cases at the border.

Meanwhile, the government is considering widening free access to the flu vaccine as the health system struggles with winter illnesses including staff shortages.

Health Minister Andrew Little told Morning Report that Covid-19 numbers were higher than anticipated and the influenza season had hit earlier.

In Wellington and the Hutt Valley, hundreds of patients have to wait longer for planned surgery as Capital & Coast and Hutt Valley district defer the operations due to unprecedented staff absences, high demand and winter illness.

Counties Manukau DHB has paid GPs up to $350 per patient for consultations to help take the pressure off Middlemore Hospital emergency department. Twenty-seven general practices in South Auckland offered the appointments, free to patients, over the weekend.

Canterbury District Health Board was also under some pressure, Little said, while Capital & Coast occupancy rate was over 90 percent.