Waikato MIQ facility to become quarantine facility for local community cases

Distinction Hamilton will now become specifically for local community cases.
Distinction Hamilton will now become specifically for local community cases. Photo credit: Image - Newshub

One of the Waikato's three MIQ facilities will be turned into a quarantine facility on Monday for local community cases. 

Distinction Hamilton - one of three MIQ managed isolation facilities in Waikato - will now be specifically for local community cases, enabling them to stay in the region.

In a statement, MBIE said it was a temporary measure that will remain in place for as long as it is required. 

This comes after the Waikato region recorded three more cases on Sunday taking the total number of cases in the region to 31 with one case in Waikato Hospital.

"We are making this change in partnership with the people of Tainui waka and other partner agencies who are supportive of local people being cared for locally," Joint Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine Brigadier Rose King says.

"Everyone is helping us to put this change into operation for the benefit of the community.

"This change will mean the region has 110 quarantine rooms available for community cases, dedicated to the local community."

At the suggestion of Tainui waka iwi, Distinction Hamilton will now be known as an Amohia - Community Isolation Quarantine facility.

People who return a positive COVID-19 test at the two other Hamilton managed isolation facilities (Ibis Tainui and Jet Park Hamilton) will continue to be transported safely and securely to Auckland quarantine facilities. 

Brigadier King said the move to make Distinction Hamilton a local facility will also help maintain quarantine capacity in Auckland. 

"We know that the safest way to contain community cases is by quarantine and close management. We are stepping up as we have in Auckland, and previously in Wellington, to support care of local cases for the benefit of the community."

On Sunday the Ministry of Health announced a spike of 60 COVID-19 cases, 19 of which have yet to be linked to the original Auckland outbreak. 

All of the new cases were found in Auckland apart from three in Waikato and the case in Bay of Plenty reported on Saturday night. 

"The three new Waikato cases are linked to the initial Hamilton East case," the ministry said in a statement. 

"Of the Auckland cases, 37 have known links to existing cases and 17 remain under investigation." 

There have now been 1587 cases in the Delta outbreak. 

Twenty of the latest COVID-19 cases were infectious in the community, the ministry said. 

Ministry data shows there are 29 people in hospital with COVID-19, seven of whom are in intensive care.