News Coronavirus New Zealand records 56 new COVID-19 cases
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New Zealand records 56 new COVID-19 cases

NZ COVID-19 cases
New Zealand has reported 56 community cases of COVID-19 including one in the capital, Wellington. Photo: AAP
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COVID-19 has returned to Wellington, which has recorded a community case of the virus for the first time in months.

The sole case in New Zealand’s capital was one of 56 new cases reported on Wednesday.

All cases were on the North Island, including 33 in Auckland and 11 in the Bay of Plenty including one in poorly vaccinated Murupara.

The Wellington case recently visited the Lakes district, centred on Rotorua, and visited a string of retail places in Lower and Upper Hutt from Saturday before their positive test on Tuesday.

Wellington last recorded a case in November, which was later believed to be historical, with the previous cases in August at the start of the Delta outbreak.

Wastewater testing results from the Hutt Valley showed a positive result – as have a string of places which are yet to return positive cases, suggesting undetected community transmission in Napier, Whitianga, Dargaville and Gisborne.

On Wednesday, 51 people were receiving treatment in hospital, including seven in intensive care.

NZ is intent on trying to stop the Omicron variant from entering the community, pushing back plans to allow fully vaccinated Kiwis to self-isolate on arrival from Australia.

To date, 28 Omicron cases have been picked up at the border within hotel quarantine.

NZ has 94 per cent of the eligible population partially vaccinated, with 90 per cent double-dosed, and five per cent with boosters.

Nelson-Marlborough became the 10th of the country’s 20 regional health districts to reach 90 per cent of its eligible population vaccinated.

The government wants to hit this milestone for all 20 districts.

– AAP