Reported daily Covid cases top 7000 for first time since July
And the BA.5 subvariant is continuing to be pushed out - making up fewer than half of all cases for the first time in months.
Ministry of Health data said there were 7490 cases reported on Tuesday but the reality of cases in the community - based on wastewater testing - was probably double that.
Tuesday tends to be the highest day of the week because some people delay reporting their infection during the weekend.
Today's figure of 6704 was higher than any single day last week, continuing the clear trend upwards.
The wave is tracking at the lower end of modelling estimates which suggested daily reported numbers could have been close to 10,000 by now.
But modellers have consistently said this wave was particularly hard to model because they did not know what impact previous infection was having on immunity, and because there were so many variants in the community.
The BA.5 variant of Omicron drove the country's second, July wave of Covid.
It was still the most prevalent strain at 44 percent of cases but was being pushed out by the "variant soup" of five other strains of Omicron circulating.
The most dominant of them last week was BA.2.75 at 32 percent, with BQ1.1 next on 15 percent.
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