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Auckland is now at COVID Alert Level 1 – find out below what this means for you

8 October 2020

Our Auckland villages will take a staged approach to moving to COVID-19 Level 1

Now that Auckland has joined the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 1, at Selwyn we’ll be implementing a staged approach to returning to Level 1 in our care homes and independent living areas.

In our care homes, we’ll be relaxing a number of the restrictions on visiting that have been in place. This will allow residents to have greater social contact with others, whilst ensuring that we can continue to maintain residents’ health and safety and preserve our safe care havens at the same time.

In independent living, we’ll continue to relax restrictions around the communal areas and shared amenities, so that IL residents can enjoy a full return to activities within a safe and risk-free environment.

Residential care

For the next two weeks (from Thursday 8 October until Thursday 22 October), a number of important infection prevention precautions will still remain, but they’ll be slightly more relaxed and will introduce greater variety and social engagement into residents’ daily routine. From 8 October, the following applies:

  • Residents can visit others in different areas of their care home, go for a walk within the care home and around the village site and attend communal areas (eg, the village café), but must wear a mask and keep a physical distance from anyone they might come into contact with;
  • There’ll be no restrictions on the number of visitors per resident or on the length of each visit;
  • Current visiting hours will continue from 10.00am to 6.00pm, and visitors will still need to book appointments to visit their loved ones;
  • Visitors will still be required to wear masks, and visits should only take place in the resident’s room (not within the communal areas). Visitors will need to sign into the Visitor Management System, scan the QR code, have their temperature checked, wear their identification label and use hand sanitiser before going to see their
  • Family members can take their relative out and off the village site, but residents will be required to wear a mask and practise good hand hygiene at all times; visitors must complete and hand in a contact tracing form on return.
  •  Minivan outings will resume for residents of a specific care home/household ‘bubble’ only, so masks won’t be necessary (with the exception of the driver); residents won’t be able to get off the van at any of the stop-offs.
  • We can welcome back our hairdressers, podiatrists and other allied health providers, as well as our volunteers and external activity providers such as visiting entertainers. All external providers, contractors and volunteers will have to check in via our Visitor Management System, scan the QR code, have their temperature taken and continue to wear a mask. They’ll also need to provide us with notification in advance of their intended visit and continue to apply the main infection prevention and control measures, such as good hand hygiene and coughing and sneezing etiquette.
  • Chapel services will not commence until 18 October, but we’re asking that no care residents attend on this date. This will be reviewed again on Monday, 19 October, based on whether any new cases of community transmission have come to light. Worship will continue within the care homes as it has been.
What this means for care staff:
  • Please continue wearing masks during this interim ‘Level 2 to Level 1’ two-week period.
  • Staff declaration and temperature checking continue before each shift starts.
  • Cohort nursing still applies; staff cannot cross over care homes or areas until residential care at Selwyn officially moves to Level 1 – this includes Bureau staff and any staff who are working for another ARC provider. This is because of the time staff spend with residents, close proximity and the amount of contact staff have with different residents.
  • Sick staff and those with cold/flu/COVID symptoms will be stood down until clear of symptoms for 72 hours.
  • Any staff with signs/symptoms of COVID-19 must not return to work until they’ve been tested and returned a negative result.
  • During this Level 2 to Level 1 period, interviewees will continue to be screened remotely for any contact with positive cases, flu and cold symptoms and must be symptom-free for 72 hours prior to any face-to-face interview. Applicants can only start if they’ve been cold and flu symptom-free for 72 hours, and they must have a
    72- hour break between jobs.
  • Staff in the ‘at risk’ category will remain stood down during the L2 to L1 period unless they provide medical clearance.
  • 14-day isolation for new admissions and those returning from hospital under 48 hrs: the ARC national COVID screening tool is to be completed prior to admission; residents will still be tested at Day 3 and Day 12; they can come out of their room for a walk, but must wear a mask and physical distance (2 metres) while outside of their rooms; they can have two allocated visitors during the 14 days, who must check in using the Visitor Management System, scan the QR code, have their temperature taken and wear a mask during their visit.
  • 14-day isolation for returning residents from external appointments: residents will continue to wear a mask to and from their appointment, but won’t have to isolate for 14 days.
  • Viewing of available rooms in care homes will be by appointment only during the L2 to L1 period; viewers must check in via the Visitor Management System, scan the QR code, wear a mask, wear their printed label and have their temperature taken; people viewing rooms must be accompanied by a Selwyn staff member.
  • All student placements can resume, but students must remain at a designated care home or site over this period; they’ll need to check in using a staff declaration form, have their temperature taken prior to commencing shift, and wear a face mask at all times in the care homes.


Independent living

From 8 October, whilst the vast majority of activities and services can resume, we’re encouraging IL residents to continue wearing a mask in the communal areas for the time being, as this is still recommended by the Ministry of Health.

  • IL visitors must complete the Health Declaration Form (or Visitor Management System where applicable), scan the NZ COVID Tracer QR code and are encouraged to wear a mask in the public areas for at least another two weeks (to be on the safe side and as per MOH advice).
  • Our external volunteers and activity providers can return, but they’ll need to check in via our Visitor Management System, wear their name label, scan the QR code and - for the next fortnight - continue to have their temperature taken and wear a mask. They also have to provide us with advance notification of their intended visit and observe all the key infection prevention precautions. This also applies to Group office staff and staff from other Selwyn sites.
  • Chapel services will recommence on 18 October, with extra cleaning protocols and physical distancing.
What this means for independent living staff:
  • Staff declarations and temperature checks will continue prior to the commencement of each shift.
  • We encourage you to wear a mask as per the Government’s recommendations, but it’s not mandatory as physical distancing can be practised and maintained.
  • Face-to-face interviewing can resume and no interval is required for new appointees between starting their new role at Selwyn and their previous role.
  • Staff who’ve been stood down due to the fact they work for two employers can resume working for Selwyn - unless they work for another ARC provider or are working in a high risk area such as a quarantine facility or at the airport.
  • All ‘at risk’ staff working in IL may return to work.
  • Sick staff or those with COVID symptoms will be stood down until they’re clear of symptoms for 72 hours.
  • Any staff with COVID signs/symptoms are not to return to work until they’ve been tested and had a negative result.

Dementia Day Centres

From 12 October, the full service will resume with strict hygiene standards in place - all clients and staff will continue to be screened daily on arrival, including having their temperature taken to ensure a safe and healthy environment. Our transport service will also be up and running again.

We’ll continuously monitor these new procedures and will review them again after two weeks, with a view to potentially easing things further - assuming there are no new cases of COVID-19 detected in the wider community.

Be safe

Regardless of the Alert Level, we should all continue to remain vigilant in terms of our own infection control and hygiene practices, and keep a record of our movements and who we’ve been in contact with. If you’ve cold or flu symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline (0800 358 5453), let your manager know and make sure you get tested. Most importantly, if you’re sick, stay home - please don’t come to work and don’t socialise.

Thank you to everyone for all your hard work in protecting those in your communities at Selwyn and at home. Be safe.