Lock-down at Kerikeri Retirement Village will be lifted at 9am tomorrow following the move by New Zealand (other than Auckland) to Public Health Alert Level One at 11.59pm tonight. The NZ Aged Care Association has advised rest homes to remain cautious, so visitor access to the Village’s Care Facility will still be by appointment only. Anyone can visit but this will be restricted to two people at a time for each resident, for up to an hour between 9am and 5pm from Mondays to Fridays. Visitors will be asked to remain in the rooms of the people they are visiting.
The Village will observe “rigorously” the ‘golden rules’ of Level One. All staff will be required to stay home if ill and chief executive Hilary Sumpter said her team would have the same expectation of all visitors to the Village, regardless of which part they were visiting.
“Kiwi staunchness is not applicable in these times,” she said. “Staff with colds or flu-like symptoms will be asked to undertake a test for COVID-19 through their GPs, and we will test residents of our Care Facility who display such symptoms. These tests are available in house so the process should be a reasonably quick one.”
Current enhanced hand-washing and sanitising protocols will remain in place, and staff and residents will be asked to observe sneezing and coughing etiquette.
Entry to the Care Facility will still be through the reception area only. All visitors to the Village’s administration area and Care Facility will be asked to use the NZ Covid Tracer app. The app’s QR code will remain displayed on external doors. All arrivals will be asked to sanitise their hands before and after their visits. All visitors will need to wear masks, make a health declaration and have their temperature checked. Visitors will need to bring their own masks, along with any other items of personal protective equipment people would like to use.
The Village will resume all organised events and services such as podiatry. The Day Care programme and wellness activities like Yoga and Tai Chi will also re-start, as will bus and van-based group shopping trips. The hairdresser will be able to schedule appointments freely and will be able to accept appointments with people from outside the Village once again. External groups will not be able to book the social centre or come into the chapel under we are at Level 0.
“It remains only for us to say a massive ‘thank you’ to our residents, their families, whanau and loved ones, our incredible staff and our amazing team of suppliers and supporters for everything they have all done to get us successfully to this point,” Ms Sumpter said.
“Together we will remain vigilant. We know that in care facilities outbreaks are particularly likely to happen where there are few or no protective measures in place to protect vulnerable residents and staff. Therefore we will do what we can to take care of the vulnerable people who call the Village their home and, of course, our staff.”