Head of MIQ Brigadier Jim Bliss describes Grand Mercure investigation – video

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The head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine described and defended a recent potential outbreak at Auckland’s Grand Mercure Hotel after 250 people were told to self-isolate amid fears they could have contracted the COVID-19 virus.

“As a result of the recent situation at the Grand Mercure Managed Isolation Facility in Auckland. I commissioned an investigation to determine what happened and improvements, if any, can be made to strengthen our processes,” said Brigadier Jim Bliss.

“Part of that investigation is into the managed isolation walks that occurred from four facilities in the Auckland area. While exercise occurs on-site at most of our facilities, for these four, there is no appropriate area on the site.”

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“For returnees in isolation, being able to exercise and have access to fresh air is a really important aspect to support their health and wellbeing whilst they are in managed isolation.”

During the early stages of this month, at-least 23 people were transported to two managed isolation walks. What was not known at the time was someone within that group was a positive case. On March 19, 12, returnees attended the managed isolation walk; out of them all, one was a confirmed case. Two also undertook the walk on March 21.

“From [March 19], nine were classed as casual plus contacts, and their stay was extended by five days. They have subsequently tested negative and displayed no symptoms and have been released yesterday,” said Brigadier Jim Bliss.

More to come shortly… 

Image/Video: CC/ Sam Hudson

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