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Independent Living Residents

10 March 2023

COVID-19 update: changes to our infection prevention and control measures

As New Zealand transitions from an emergency pandemic response to treating COVID-19 as another infectious disease to be controlled, our Clinical Governance Committee has reviewed the various infection prevention and control practices in place around the village and considered whether these now need to be modified. Consequently, we are introducing a few changes and easing a number of current restrictions, as follows:

  • Independent living residents and resident services/village staff no longer need to wear masks when around the village, unless they wish to as a matter of personal choice. (However, anyone entering a care home will be required to ‘mask-up’ and take a RAT test.)
  • Residents no longer need to do a RAT test before using the exercise/gym spaces. The current RAT testing area in the gym will be returned to the physio treatment room.
  • Our staff will continue to take a RAT test before starting each shift, but this can be done at home before coming to work or immediately on arrival at work. We will rely on people to do the right thing and to be diligent in self-testing and reporting any positive results.
  • The sales process and procedures for apartment viewings/village tours will revert to normal (pre-COVID) practice, with RAT testing no longer required for those coming to view an apartment. The Sales team will monitor and advise individuals of the need to stay home if feeling unwell.
  • Chapel services can return to normal (with the exception of sharing the common cup for Eucharist).
  • Masks and RAT testing will continue for our residential care staff and for visitors to the care homes. These controls also apply to visiting health professionals, contractors, volunteers, external providers, etc, if they are entering a care home.
  • We encourage everyone to continue to be vigilant about their own health; anyone starting to develop cold or flu symptoms is requested to stay at home, take a RAT as soon as possible and notify us if they have contracted the virus.

As COVID-19 is now unfortunately present within the wider community, we would like to thank everyone in advance for their cooperation and assistance in helping us maintain a safe village environment.

23 December 2022

COVID-19 update: Protect yourself and others and have a ‘safe-as summer’

Ngā mihi o te wā! Seasons greetings!

We hope everyone’s enjoying the Christmas hustle and bustle and all the excitement and anticipation in these last few days before ‘the big event’.

Amidst all the busyness and merriment, we’d like to remind residents to continue to keep up all the recommended safeguards against COVID-19 and to take care to protect against the ever present risk of community transmission whenever you’re out and about. With a mix of more infectious COVID variants on the rise and an increase in reinfection rates, it’s more important now than ever to exercise every health and safety precaution in order to minimise the risk to you and your loved ones.

To keep everyone safe as much as possible, please bear in mind the following COVID safety practices:

  • Medical or other high quality masks (not the cloth variety) are to be worn by everyone – including visitors – when in the village common areas and when visiting residential care, unless eating or drinking. (This also applies to all our staff and contractors.) Wearing masks, particularly in any indoor common spaces other than your own unit, continues to be an important tool in protecting ourselves and others and helping to stop the spread of COVID in the community.
  • All visitors to the care homes must undertake a rapid antigen test (RAT) on every visit and wear a mask. (Our staff and contractors will also be undertaking RATs every day or every time they come into the village.) Visitors to the IL units are not required to take a RAT.
  • Independent living residents are to undertake a RAT prior to attending the gym or Strength and Wellness studio. We’re introducing this change, as users of the exercise studios are in closer proximity to one another and there may also be a greater risk of infection through aerosol droplets exhaled. If you don’t have your own supply of RATs, please pick one up from Resident Services beforehand so you can test at home prior to attending either facility. (Please note that RATs and masks are also available free from healthcare providers, testing stations and some pharmacies.)
  • If you feel unwell or develop any cold/flu/COVID-19 symptoms at any point, please stay at home and take a RAT. If you return a positive result, please isolate for seven days and call Resident Services to let us know you’re isolating and any help you may need. We also request that any household contact also observes the seven day isolation period.
  • As always, please exercise good hand hygiene in addition to ‘best practice’ cough and sneezing etiquette, and it’s still worthwhile keeping a safe distance from others wherever possible – both indoors and outdoors.

We also continue to encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with all their COVID vaccinations and boosters, as vaccines remain our best line of defence and provide a high level of protection against getting seriously ill.

There’s extensive information on how to protect yourself and others this summer at covid19.govt.nz. Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand has produced a quick ‘Safe-as summer’ checklist with key guidelines at a glance.