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News for January 20, 2022

Queenstown District Health Boards Ready Mini-MIQs to Prepare for COVID Cases

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Mini managed isolation and quarantine facilities (MIQs) are being set up in Queenstown (New Zealand) to prepare for COVID-19 cases this coming holiday season. 

Mayor Jim Boult says that two motel rooms are put aside in town for those who require assistance in isolating COVID despite tens of thousands of Aucklanders being set to descend on the city.

Boult is worried that it might not suffice to ensure that people can isolate themselves safely while vacationing in town.

Mini-MIQs are currently being set up across the country in locations that don’t have them if individuals cannot isolate themselves in the place they are residing or staying.

Boult stated that two motel units were insufficient for Queenstown.

He had requested the Southern District Health Board to make a more extensive facility available mainly since it was only ten days away before Aucklanders began coming in increasing numbers.

Most people suffering from COVID-19 are confined to their homes if they’re well enough.

However, this isn’t always feasible if their home is overcrowded or on the final days in a campground, motel, or Airbnb.

Boult stated that several hoteliers have called him to inquire about what they could do if guests had COVID-19.

“Obviously they can’t get in an aeroplane and fly back to Auckland, so they need to be isolated,” he said.

Hoteliers didn’t wish to let them stay and expose staff or guests to the virus.

Southern DHB Chief Executive Chris Fleming at a board meeting held on Tuesday said that Queenstown was very short, and they were now aware they’d need to increase more.

While holiday areas require more urgency, the country’s district health boards are setting up mini MIQs in place.

Northland has used a few of their own.

Northland DHB Clinical Leader for Community Isolation Sarah Clarke said they would eventually utilize a mix of accommodations, including motel rooms and old hospital housing.

Clarke said that the holiday season was always busy for Northland, and homes were usually overflowing with friends and whanau.

If they were to catch COVID-19 or were in close contact, they should go home and isolate themselves, but if that couldn’t be done safely, help would be on hand, she said.

The holiday season is a time for everyone to do their part.

“Please come with a plan,” she added.

She added that it could be as simple as bringing some extra food items or knowing how you’d get it if you were to be isolated for a moment and considering ways to be safely back home.

In addition, many district health boards relied on motels as quarantine facilities with backup facilities from MIQs that were full.

Some motels will be utilized exclusively for COVID-19 isolation, and others would be simply areas fenced off from other guests.

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