Covid 19 coronavirus: Fire, evacuation at Rotorua managed isolation facility

People have been evacuated from a Rotorua managed isolation hotel after a fire, emergency services have confirmed.

A police spokeswoman said police were on the scene helping Fire and Emergency NZ staff after a fire in the laundry of the Sudima Hotel.

Smoke had also been seen coming from the roof, she said.

A Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) spokeswoman said a fire alarm went off at 1.05pm at the Sudima Rotorua managed isolation facility.

MIQ staff and hotel security worked in conjunction with police to ensure all guests were safely evacuated as per fire evacuation processes.

Guests were now beginning to return to their rooms, she said.

The Sudima Rotorua was split into six blocks, three of which were evacuated.

“The safety of our staff and returnees is our top priority to ultimately ensure the safety of our community.”

All Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities operated in a level 4 environment. In evacuation situations where guests needed to be evacuated outside, strict infection prevention controls, developed by the Ministry of Health, were followed to manage the risks of spreading Covid-19, she said.

She said the protocols include use of PPE and masks and physical distancing rules.

Throughout the situation, New Zealand Defence Force staff, wearing high-visibility vests, helped hotel security and MIQ staff in cordoning all guests in the allocated assembly areas, she said.

A Rotorua Daily Post photographer said two fire appliances were at the scene and he could hear a roll call being taken behind white screens at the rear of the hotel.

Police were called to the incident about 1pm.

The police spokeswoman said because the hotel was a managed isolation facility, fire crews required special access.

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