Record 1,631 new cases in the South

by Kim Bowden - Mar 23, 2022

Southern health officials are reporting record numbers of community cases of Covid-19 today, saying while locations further north may have reached peak Omicron, it’s not so in the south.

Case numbers have continued to rise in the Southern district for the last week with cases today at an all-time high of 1,631.

In Queenstown-Lakes, there are 310 new cases; in Central Otago, 90.

“The South Island, including the Southern district, has not reached its Omicron peak yet,” the Southern District Health Board says.

“The Southern Health system wants to highlight to the public that now is not the time to get complacent regarding public health measures.

“It is more important than ever to continue to wear a mask in public, follow good hand hygiene, practice physical distancing and, if feeling sick, get tested and isolate at home until you receive a negative test result.”

The SDHB is asking people who can should get boosted against the virus.

“Now is the time to get it.

“Even though restrictions are being loosened, Covid-19 and Omicron are still very real viruses.

“The best way to protect yourself and your whānau is to get vaccinated and boosted.”

While Government restrictions begin to officially loosen, that’s a reflection of falling numbers in Auckland and not down south, it says.

“We still have vulnerable people in our communities who could suffer adverse effects because of Covid-19 infection.

“By continuing to work together we can all continue to protect our most vulnerable.”  

Across the region, there are 19 people in hospital with Covid-19 – 15 in Dunedin, three in Invercargill and one in Queenstown.

The SDHB says it has more capacity in local hospitals to isolate Covid-positive cases if required.

In Queenstown, Lakes District Hospital has five isolation rooms, each able to accommodate two patients, and, in Clyde, Dunstan Hospital has four isolation rooms, each also able to accommodate two patients.

Current hospitalisations as at 8am, March 23, 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. 

The Ministry of Health total figures for Southern for the previous 24 hours are: 

  • 1631 new positive cases  
  • 8211 (not recovered from last seven days)  

 Current cases as of 11.59pm, March 22, 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.  

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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