An update for residents, family and friends
Updated 14 August 2020
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement this evening that Auckland is to remain at Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand at Level 2 for another 12 days until 26 August, we will continue with our Level 4 precautions and all our villages will remain in full lockdown, with no access to visitors, volunteers or other non-essential personnel. As with the previous lockdowns, we’re front-footing this crisis to actively manage any risk, and the steps we’re taking go above and beyond the Government guidelines in many instances, in order to reduce any possibility of the virus entering our village communities.
All our communal services and facilities are now closed and all activities and worship services suspended. Deliveries for residents that are essential only can be accepted at Reception / via the Safety Officers at the village gates (arrangements may differ across our villages). Residents wishing to order meals from the kitchen should pre-order these the day before, and Resident Services will deliver them to your unit. There will be no new independent living residents moving into the villages, and only external contractors required to complete urgent/essential maintenance and repairs will be admitted on site (with work conducted in line with the approved COVID-19 plans that we have in place). Needless to say, we’ll also be increasing our cleaning in all communal areas of the villages.
It’s important that residents limit their physical contact with family, friends and others who live in the wider community as much as possible for the duration of the lockdown, in order to protect themselves, their fellow residents and our staff from any risk of getting the infection. The Government particularly encourages people over the age of 70, those at high risk of severe illness and those with existing medical conditions to stay at home where possible and take additional precautions if they do need to leave home.
A reminder that the COVID-19 symptoms to watch out for include: a cough, a high temperature (at least 37.5˚C), shortness of breath, a sore throat, sneezing and runny nose, a temporary loss of smell, and conjunctivitis. If you develop any of these symptoms, contact your GP or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453; make sure you get tested for COVID-19, if your GP recommends it.
Please can we ask everyone to observe the key principles of our Alert Level 4 safety precautions:
- self-isolate within your unit as much as possible
- put into practice the recommended health and safety protocols for your own safety and that of our other villagers: physical distancing (two metres if outside and one metre if inside), regular and thorough hand washing, minimising the time spent away from your unit and only going out for essentials, reducing your contact with hard surfaces in public places)
- stay within your immediate bubble at all times and refrain from socialising with your neighbours in the communal areas – even if at a distance
- don’t expand your self-isolation ‘bubble’ in any way or invite family members or any other visitors to the village
- please remind your families and friends that they will not be permitted onto the village site (we will, of course, make exceptions on compassionate grounds)
- stay in touch with family on the phone or through FaceTime, video conferencing, etc – we can help with ‘how-to’ advice, should you need
- shopping should be left by families for our teams to onward deliver to residents’ units
- if you wish to go for a walk, please remain within the bounds of the village site
- restrict any expeditions out into the wider community to the most essential only, in case you run the risk of bringing the infection back in with you on your return.
It’s important that everyone practises these health and safety recommendations – whilst you may not have the virus, others you come in contact with might or may be developing the infection, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Further information on how to self-isolate is available on the Government website: covid19.govt.nz. You might also like to have a look at our dedicated Coronavirus webpages and our ‘Be well, be kind, be safe’ section on The Selwyn Foundation website (selwynfoundation.org.nz/promotions/coronavirus/), which provide various related updates and resources.
In terms of shopping – and so that you don’t have to leave your village – the Student Volunteer Army is available to help with safe and secure grocery supplies and pharmaceutical deliveries. You can contact them via their website at shop.sva.org.nz or telephone them on 09 801 2122 – their volunteers can take orders over the phone. A volunteer will shop for your order at the nearest New World and then deliver it to the village. It’s all very easy and delivery of your order will be within 24-48 hours. This is a professionally managed and monitored service that’s highly regarded, and all the volunteers are trained, vetted and cognisant of the need to use personal protective equipment. If you’d like us to facilitate this for you, let us know.
In light of the recent cases of COVID-19 detected in Auckland, we also wanted to let you know of our procedures in the event that any of our staff believe they may have been in contact with someone in the wider community who’s been exposed to the virus. Our standard procedure in such cases will be to place the individual on discretionary leave in order for them to be tested. Provided their test is negative (we’ll need formal proof of this) and they’re symptom-free, they may return to the workplace. As a number of locations, schools and workplaces have now been identified – where those who’ve recently contracted COVID-19 have either worked or attended – we’re checking with all our staff to make sure that neither they (nor their close family members or contacts) could have been exposed.
All our staff are temperature-checked and are required to complete the health status declaration form before starting their shift. Staff with any cold or flu-like symptoms will be stood down until they’ve been tested and returned a negative result and are clear of symptoms for 48 hours. Any staff members who are considered to be in the vulnerable category (ie, aged 70-plus or with health conditions) have been stood down with pay and supported with welfare services.
We would like to reassure you that Selwyn is taking a highly precautionary approach in the face of this ever present threat. We appreciate that, as independent living residents, you have agency and can make your own decisions in terms of whether you self-isolate or not. However, as a responsible provider of services to older people, it’s The Selwyn Foundation’s duty to do everything possible to protect the health and safety of its residents and staff alike, and to reduce any possible risk so that its village communities remain COVID-free to the benefit of one and all.
Finally, the village management team and staff are here to help ease the task of self-isolation for you however possible. Whether you need us to organise shopping, deliver a hot meal, help with urgent maintenance or just have a friendly chat on the phone, please don’t hesitate to call Resident Services or Reception (keeping in mind the physical distancing rule, it’s best if you phone or email us rather than coming to Reception in person). Our teams are ready to help in whatever way they can – whatever you need, we’ll do our best to make it happen.
We’ll be providing regular updates as we go forward, but if you have an immediate query or concern, please don’t hesitate to contact your Village Manager.
Until next time – stay safe, stay well and be kind.