RESTRICTED ACCESS PROTOCOLS FOR AGED CARE FACILITIES
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Today, the Prime Minister addressed the nation to give an update on the current situation in New Zealand.
The Prime Minister outlined the four step process, with New Zealand now in Level 2.
As part of this process, today the Ministry of Health advised all Aged Care Providers to increase restricted access to all facilities to protect our vulnerable Residents and Staff.
Managed restricted access to aged care facilities
Although, there is no blanket ban on visits to aged care facilities at this stage, restrictions on visits are required.
It is fully accepted that for many families and residents, visits are essential – and important to resident well-being. Providers should now seek to facilitate and increase other forms of contact as far as possible – for instance, telephone calls or video calls.
Providers must ensure relevant health professionals continue to have access to residents where they need to carry out any necessary assessments or deliver care. However, non-urgent professional visits, or those which are not related to statutory requirements, should cease for the foreseeable future.
Non-clinical visitors should consider if their visit is essential and keep numbers to a minimum – one adult visitor per day.
Aged care providers should advise all visitors and staff to stay away from the facility if they are ill. If visitors have cold or flu symptoms, they should be symptom free for 48 hours before they visit.
Visitors who have travelled to New Zealand from any country in the last 14 days must not visit aged care facilities
During visits, aged care providers should advise people to stay two metres apart.
Facility managers need to be able to use their clinical judgement to determine who can access facilities.
The policies for managing restricted access advised for facilities are:
• all visitors by approval/appointment only
• restricted visiting hours
• no children under 16 should visit except in extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the provider
• external health care providers as pre-arranged
• allow essential health care associated visits, for example, chemo, renal dialysis
• palliative care visitors, including hospice as prearranged
• vetted key support people for residents with dementia
• volunteers to maintain essential services to be allowed.
Simply put, we must now close the open door policy and request that visits be limited to Management’s approval and/or appointment only.
Effective immediately, we will be enforcing restricted visiting hours from 10am to 3pm daily, unless approved by Management.
Please do not be offended if we ask to take your temperature upon entry into the facility.
Therefore, you may be denied entry if your visit does not meet the above requirements.
We thank you for your understanding during these uncertain times.
As always, should you have any queries or concerns, please let me know.