Alert Level 1 information for care families
Updated 9 June 2020
As the nation has moved to COVID-19 Alert Level 1 due to there being no known active cases in the country, we’re pleased to advise that we’ve lifted many of the restrictions on visiting that were in place in our care homes. With immediate effect, the following now applies:
- Restrictions on visiting hours will cease.
- There’ll be no limit on the numbers of visitors per resident or on the time or duration of their visit.
- Visitors will still be required to sign into the Visitor Management System at the care home entrance, to answer the health declaration questions within the system, wear their identification label and use hand sanitiser before moving through the care home to see their relative/friend.
- Visitors will no longer have their temperature taken by a staff member.
- Visiting can take place in the resident’s bedroom or in a communal area.
- Visitors can 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.
- There will no longer be a need for safety officers at the entrance (where that had applied).
- Visitors will no longer be required to wear a surgical mask whilst visiting.
Our staff will dispense with wearing surgical masks, unless a resident is unwell, but will continue to complete our mandatory Health Declaration Form and have their temperature taken before starting each shift. From now on, all new admissions into the care homes from public hospital or the community will be strictly managed in line with the Ministry of Health’s nationally implemented screening tool, which will identify any potential risk.
The move to Level 1 will enable 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 engagement-in-life 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 or Care Manager in advance. We’ll also be reminding them of the need to 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.
Whilst our worship services have continued on a limited basis throughout the pandemic, with groups of ten residents and under, we’ll now be able to gather together in larger numbers, with communion using previously intincted bread (but not a common cup).
Despite the easing of restrictions, please be assured that we’ll continue to carefully monitor the health of our residents and will keep a close watch to ensure that residents’ condition does not alter at any point. Our staff have received renewed instruction and guidance as to the COVID-19 symptoms and associated illnesses that manifest in older people, so that they may quickly identify any changes that might occur.
Whilst we’re delighted that life is now just about back to normal, we must keep in mind that COVID-19 is still in the world. Everyone should remain vigilant in terms of their own infection control practices and the need to keep a record of our movements and those we’ve been in personal contact with.
As the threat is now diminished, this will be the last of our weekly COVID-19 updates. We’d like to thank family members for their patience and understanding throughout these challenging times, as we worked to provide a safe environment and to protect those in our care. We can now look forward to ‘uniting for recovery’ and getting New Zealand moving again.