The Ministry of Health has apologised after a Covid-positive North Shore woman was stuck at home for days with her compromised parents as she waited to get approval to move to isolation.
Fit 36-year-old Krystle learned she had contracted Covid-19 on Thursday and had been waiting anxiously at home to hear back from health authorities about moving to MIQ.
She feared spreading the virus to her immune-compromised mother, who has cancer and chronic inflammatory lung disease and is attached to an oxygen machine 18 hours a day.
Her father had previously had a heart attack.
She said the Ministry of Health knew about her family's situation, including her mother's ill health which has seen her hospitalised 13 times this year - three while in lockdown.
Krystle confirmed that following inquiries made by the Herald yesterday, she received a phone call about 5pm confirming that she could drive herself to the Holiday Inn facility.
While she was relieved she was confused to learn she wouldn't need to be tested at any stage during her stay, and she didn't need a negative test to leave the facility.
She would be assessed by a nurse and her symptoms, she said.
"I find it so strange that it's as simple as tell them on the phone your symptoms are gone then within 72 hours you can leave. There's no medical check before you leave."
An MIQ spokesperson said as of 8am on Sunday, October 24, there were 363 quarantine rooms available - including 238 in Auckland.
A Ministry of Health spokesperson said today that Auckland Public Health staff had been in touch with Krystle to apologise for the delay and confirm their transfer to a managed isolation facility was under way.
"We understand as of last evening this person has now been transferred to an MIQ facility.
"This person was notified of their positive result on Thursday evening 21 October and subsequently a full interview took place on Friday 22 October. Information is shared with cases about isolating and how to stop the spread of COVID-19."
The spokesperson said the ministry was currently reviewing its processes around the transfer of community cases.
"Due to the increasing number of community cases, we are reviewing all processes related to transfer of community cases to MIQ."
Auckland University epidemiologist Professor Rod Jackson said the case was unusual as Krystle "was obviously someone who should be in MIQ".
Krystle lives in a cabin on the property with her partner Thomas, who is fully vaccinated and returned negative results.
However, they have to go inside the house to use the facilities and Krystle was getting increasingly alarmed that her mother would catch the virus and die.
Her parents are both fully vaccinated. Krystle is due for her second Covid vaccine on Sunday, October 31.
"My Mum and Dad are high risk; my Mum is a cancer patient and has COPD and my Dad has had a heart attack," she told the Herald yesterday. "The Ministry of Health know all this and I'm still, even currently at this moment, with them," she told the Herald yesterday.
"COPD [patients] are so high risk for Covid you would think they'd be a bit more vigilant and get me out of here, but they've not done anything."
On top of the stress waiting to get into MIQ she's had to deal with all her symptoms which she described as a "rollercoaster" - and there's barely been a part of her body that hasn't been affected.
"From day one I've had stomach cramps. I've had high fever, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, headaches, cold sweats.
"At the moment I'm alright I've got a little bit of fever and my nose is blocked, but every couple of hours you get a different symptom. It's so weird.
"It's like having 10 different viruses in one I would say."
Epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker said while he couldn't comment on specific cases, issues around getting managed isolation could continue to pop up for some time as Auckland enters its suppression phase and waits for changes around overseas travellers isolating at home.
In the meantime, he says it's inevitable that as the number of cases in Auckland increases, so too will the number of people being isolated at home.
"Now we will see a lot more triaging of people based on their circumstances as to whether they are put into MIQ or just isolating or quarantined at home."
Previously, in the elimination phase, every case and sometimes the whole household would be put into MIQ but with the Government focusing on its transition into suppression of Covid, that would change.