Alert Level 1 update for independent living residents, family and friends
Updated 9 June 2020
Further to the move to COVID-19 Alert Level 1 as a result of there being no known active cases in the country, we’re pleased to advise that we’re implementing a number of changes to our visiting protocols with immediate effect.
Whilst visitors will still be required to check in using the Visitor Management System, there’s no longer any need for them to be temperature-checked or to wear a surgical mask. Please would residents ensure that their visitors either sign in via this system or that they fill in a Health Declaration Form each time they come to the villages. Residents should retain each completed form, as this will help with contact tracing if needed at some time in the future.
The move to Level 1 also enables us to welcome back our volunteers and external activity providers, such as visiting entertainers and guest speakers. In addition, we’re looking forward to resuming any remaining group activities that had to be temporarily suspended during the higher Alert Levels, and have developed specific cleaning protocols to cater for this. All external providers and contractors will need to check in via our Visitor Management System and will be required to provide notification of their intended visit to the Village Manager in advance. We’ll also be reminding them that they should continue to observe the main infection prevention control measures, such as good hand hygiene and coughing and sneezing etiquette – all the precautions that we’ve become used to and which should form part of our new way of life from now on.
We’ll now be able to gather together in larger numbers for Sunday worship, with communion using previously intincted bread (but not a common cup). There will be extra cleaning protocols in the chapels for worship and for funerals, and physical distancing will continue to be encouraged; however, we’ll be able to sing in worship again. Staying away if experiencing symptoms of colds or flu will be very important, as will keeping a record of contacts.
In our care homes, we’ve also lifted many of the restrictions on visiting that were in place, including the limitations on visiting hours and on the numbers of visitors per resident. Visitors can now take residents out and off the village site, but will be given a contact tracing form to complete and will be required to hand this back on return. Despite this easing of restrictions, we’ll continue to carefully monitor the health of our residents and will keep a close watch to ensure that residents’ condition does not change at any point.
As the nation recovers from the effects of COVID-19, we must keep in mind that the virus is still in the world, so it’s still important to observe the basic hygiene measures, including washing and drying our hands, coughing or sneezing into our elbow, staying home if sick, and getting tested for COVID-19 in the event of developing flu-like symptoms. We should all continue to maintain a diary of where we’ve been and who we’ve seen – either by scanning the various business QR codes, or noting down our movements. This will greatly assist with rapid contact tracing, should it be required.
Since the threat in New Zealand is now diminished, this will be the last of our weekly COVID-19 updates. We’d like to thank all our independent living residents for their patience and understanding throughout these challenging times, as we worked to provide safe village environments for residents and staff. If at any point you’re looking for information on COVID-19, go to www.covid19.govt.nz. This website is regularly updated with the most up-to-date information and guidance around COVID.
Let’s now look forward to ‘uniting for recovery’ and getting the country moving again.