"New Zealand’s third wave of COVID infections will likely reach its peak during
the holiday period and stretch well into 2023.
The risk of infection is now the highest since June 2022 and continues to rise,
driven by new, immune-evasive variants and the social mixing that comes with
reduced pandemic controls, end-of-year events and holidays.
Reported cases have risen almost five-fold from a low point of about 1,300 a
day in September to more than 6,000 a day now. Because of declining testing and
reporting, the true number of infections is likely two to three times higher.
Hospitalisations are also at their highest level since August and are rising
The risk of being exposed to the virus has increased markedly in all social
settings. For example, in a small gathering of ten people, the probability that
one or more of the people attending has the virus has increased from 2-3% to
more like 15% currently, and is likely to peak at around 20%.
For large gatherings of 100 people, this risk has risen from about 20% to more
The main message is that multiple meetings with different people add up to a
lot of potential exposure to this virus, and the risk rises with the number of
people and the prevalence of infection. This combination is making the
pre-Christmas period particularly high risk for New Zealanders."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics