Dear Families and Friends
We trust you had an enjoyable Easter and are cherishing your family time locked within your bubble.
We are saddened to hear that some New Zealanders have lost their lives due to COVID-19, especially those in rest homes.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who are affected.
You may have heard the “war cry” to test, test, test and although we commend the Government for their increased testing, sadly they rejected our Industry’s request to test everyone.
Only those Residents and Staff who are symptomatic will get tested.
So far, four staff members and one resident showed some early symptoms, were tested a couple of weeks ago and all produced negative results.
We continue to follow the Ministry of Health’s advice and best practice guidelines.
As visits have been suspended in our homes, it is important for you to know what steps we have taken to protect everyone under our care.
1. All residents are being checked twice a day for temperature, vital signs, respiratory issues and any other early warning signs of illness
2. Rapid assessment of any resident showing any sign of illness is being undertaken
3. Essential medical services (GP, pharmacy, etc.) are available to us 24/7
4. All residents have been immunised for influenza
5. Our processes for infection control and preparedness for any outbreak have been reviewed by Counties Manukau District Health Board
6. We have good stocks of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) on hand should the need arise
7. New admissions must have a negative COVID-19 test prior to entry
8. We are practicing social distancing as much as practicable
9. Cleaning of the facility has been ramped up
10. All staff members’ temperatures and well-being are being checked upon arrival
11. For tracing purposes, we know who is in each staff member’s home bubble
12. Staff have been immunised for influenza
13. Staff are constantly reminded of their obligations outside of the “facility” bubble
14. Staff have been advised to:
a. where possible, wear mufti to work and change into their uniform on arrival,
b. Where possible, change into mufti and bag their uniform before leaving at the end of their shift,
c. wash their clothes in hot water when they get home,
d. have a hot shower when they arrive home, before hugging their loved ones.
In addition to the safety measures being undertaken, Linda and I decided to reward our staff by paying them an extra $2.50/hr during lockdown level 4.
We are also providing regular morning and afternoon teas and support for their well-being.
This was our way of supporting them for the sacrifice they make every day by coming to look after our residents, your loved ones.
Needless to say, staff morale is high and we are a happy committed family team.
We trust you are keeping safe and will provide a further update when we know what Level 3 looks like fir us all.