Village returns Care Facility to lock-down


Kerikeri Retirement Village restricted visitor access to its Care Facility from 0600hrs today in response to guidance from the Director-General of Health that New Zealand (excluding Auckland) should return to Public Health Alert Level Two.

Each of our 66 Care Facility residents will be allowed two nominated visitors for the duration of Level Two. One of these nominated visitors will be able to visit once a day, Monday to Friday. Each visit will have to be pre-arranged with the Village by whoever holds the resident’s Enduring Power of Attorney.

Visitors will need to stay in the rooms of the people they are visiting and will be asked to observe physical distancing etiquette.

Visits will be limited to 30 minutes on an allocated schedule to avoid crowding, with the aim of having no more than 10 visitors in the facility at any one time.

People will be asked to give an affirmation of good health and to provide details for contact tracing, and their temperatures will be taken. They will be asked to sanitise their hands before and after their visits. Masks are recommended for visitors.

“We’re aware that these restrictions sound draconian but they are the conditions we expect to be imposed by the Northland DHB and the recommendations from the NZ Aged Care Association. They’re in place for the protection of the lovely people who call our Care Facility home,” Ms Sumpter said.

Ms Sumpter said visitor numbers needed to be restricted to reduce the likelihood of contamination in the Care Facility.

The Village will not allow ‘window visiting’ in an effort to keep the general flow of people in and out of its premises as low as possible. People congregating around the Village increases the likelihood of cross-contamination, a risk the Village aims to minimise.

“We make absolutely no apologies for exercising a very high degree of caution for the safety of our residents,” Ms Sumpter said. “The Prime Minister and Director-General of Health are crystal clear on this point – it’s a tricky virus and we know rest homes are particularly vulnerable.

Ms Sumpter said the Village enjoyed support for its access policies from families of those in the Care Facility and understanding from those living in the Village. She encouraged families to use email, phone calls and video-call services to maintain contact with their loved ones in the Care Facility.

Care Facility residents will be allowed to walk around the Village grounds and take part in dedicated, vehicle-bound outings. Village Support staff and healthy volunteers under the age of 70 will have access to the Care Facility but will need to observe a heightened sanitisation protocol.

Distancing and sanitising procedures will be in place for the Village’s independent living residents wishing to speak with staff in the reception and administration area.

Organised events at the Village, along with bus and van-based group shopping trips, will be suspended once again, as will services such as podiatry, the Day Care programme and wellness activities like Yogalates. The hairdresser will be asked to see customers from the Care Facility on different days to those living elsewhere in the Village. She will also be unable to accept appointments with people from outside the Village.

The Village’s independent living residents are expected to follow all Public Health Alert Level Two protocols. They have once again been advised that the elderly are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and have been advised to curtail their activities in public places.

The Village will allow viewings of cottages, apartments and studio apartments, although strict physical distancing and sanitising protocols will be followed.


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