Distinction Hamilton – one of three MIQ managed isolation facilities in the Waikato – will transition to become a quarantine facility for local community cases from today (11 October).
The change will enable positive cases from the community outbreak to go into a local Community Isolation Quarantine facility.
The move is in response to the growing number of COVID-19 community cases in the Waikato and is a temporary measure that will remain in place as long as it is needed to support the national health response.
“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. Everyone is helping us to put this change into operation for the benefit of the community,” says Joint Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine, Brigadier Rose King.
“This change will mean the region has 110 quarantine rooms available for community cases, dedicated to the local community,” she says.
To reflect the unique characteristics of the facility and at the suggestion of Tainui waka iwi, Distinction Hamilton will now be known as an Amohia – Community Isolation Quarantine facility.
The name has been endorsed by Kiingi Tuheitia, Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII and is drawn from the King’s tongikura: Amohia ake te ora o te iwi, ka puta ki te wheiao – ‘to protect the wellbeing of our people is paramount’.
“As with all our MIQ facilities, all staff are vaccinated, we apply stringent Infection Prevention and Control measures, and security and health staff ensure the safety of people both inside and outside the facility,” says Brigadier King.
Positive returnee cases identified through regular testing 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, she said.
“The other 2 Hamilton facilities remain as managed isolation facilities only.”
Brigadier King says the move to make Distinction Hamilton a local facility would 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.”
“Everyone has done a great job over the past 16 months operating the Waikato facilities and are fully committed to working together and continuing to keep communities safe,” she said.