Covid cases continue to rise in South, Auckland over peak

by Kim Bowden - Mar 22, 2022

While director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield says Covid-19 case numbers have passed their peak in Auckland, cases are still increasing in the South.

Local health officials are reporting 271 new community cases of Covid-19 in Queenstown-Lakes today and 50 in Central Otago.

It brings the total number of active cases in Queenstown-Lakes and Central Otago to 1,546 and 380 respectively.

Across the Southern region there are a total 1,439 new cases.

Current cases as of 11.59pm, March 21, 2022 (Source SDHB)  

Territorial Authority 

New – Positive (PCR & RAT) 

Active Cases 




Central Otago 


























Please note, the Ministry of Health’s daily reported cases may differ slightly from those reported at a DHB or local public health unit level. This is because of different reporting cut off times and the assignment of cases between regions, for example when a case is tested outside their usual region of residence. Total numbers will always be the formal daily case tally as reported to the WHO. Due to the increased use of RATs and system lag issues there may be a discrepancy in the number of total active cases from the territorial authority breakdown. A decision has been made nationally that areas with less than 5 new cases per 24-hour period will be reported as “<5”. All territorial authorities with less than 100 cases will have their case numbers rounded to the nearest 5. We are unable to supply further information. Please contact the Ministry of Health directly for more information about these decisions.  

Twenty-three people are in hospital with the virus in the South – 20 in Dunedin, two in Invercargill and one in Queenstown; none are in intensive care.

Staff in wards 10A at Wakari Hospital and 4C at Dunedin Hospital have returned no positive Covid-19 tests after incidences of the virus in the two wards last week, the Southern District Health Board says.

Current hospitalisations as at 8am, March 22, 2022 (Source SDHB)  
















Please note that hospitalisation data does not differentiate between patients admitted because of COVID-19 infection versus those admitted for a separate reason who happen to also have Covid-19. 

Across Aotearoa today there are 20,907 new community cases of Covid-19, and a further 15 deaths and 1,016 people in hospital with the virus.

The new deaths take the total number of publicly reported Covid-19 related deaths to 199 and the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths to 10.

Case numbers are still 'very much on the increase' in the South Island: Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Of the 15 people who have died, nine are from the Auckland region, three from Waikato, and three from the Wellington region.

One is in their 50s, three in their 60s, two in their 70s and five in their 80s.

Eight are men and seven women.

Of those in hospital with the virus, 25 people are in intensive care, and the average age of all hospitalised is 59.

Dr Bloomfield says the latest analysis shows Covid-19 case numbers have passed their peak in Auckland, and are tracking down in all three district health boards.

Analysis also shows case numbers nationally - not including Auckland - are also slowing, he says.

They have increased just one percent in the seven days to March 20, compared to a 44 percent increase in the week ending March 13.

However, he says the pattern does differ by district health board, with cases still increasing in the South Island.

Covid-19 in the South - What you need to know:

  • Please only get tested if you have symptoms or are a household contact of a confirmed case.
  • Testing locations can be found on the WellSouth website.
  • If you test positive on a RAT test you do not need to have that confirmed by PCR – you are a case. Please update your My Covid Record with your result. Call 0800 222 478, option 3, if you need any support to do this.
  • If you receive a text notification that you are positive, please do the online survey in the link you receive in the text message as soon as possible. This will ensure you can receive the appropriate care and support when you need it. Please be aware that, after filling in your My Covid Record with your positive RAT result, there can be a 24-hour delay before you receive this text message. 
  • Prepare now to self-isolate if you or a family member or housemate tests positive.
  • If you are self-isolating and require welfare support such as help getting groceries, please call 0800 512 337.
  • If you have concerns about Covid-19 symptoms, call your general practice or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 at any time. If you are very unwell or having breathing difficulties, call 111 immediately.


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