UPDATE March 17 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Visitors to Aged Care Homes

Visitors to aged care homes

Hi everyone,

As always the well-being of all our residents and staff is our top priority.

The information we are receiving from the Ministry of Health and local District Health Boards for dealing with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing daily, if not hourly.
The team at Ambridge Rose is meeting regularly and reviewing our response to new information as it becomes available.

Today the Ministry of Health has issued new guidelines for Visitors to Aged Care Facilities as below:

Visitors to aged-care facilities
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 should also stay away if they have been in Category 1a and 1b and 2 countries and territories or they have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
We ask they stay away for 14 days from their date of departure or close contact.
During visits, aged care providers should advise people to stay two metres apart.

The latest information can be found here:

Good effective hand hygiene remains the most effective way to minimise the risk of this virus spreading.
Please do not be offended if you are asked to wash and sanitise your hands upon entry to our facilities, we are just being cautious.

Next Steps – We Are Ready!

We have been in the planning phase for quite some time and as a precaution, we now request that visits should be no more than 15 minutes, keeping a two-metre distance.
We understand this may be very difficult, but it is the guideline from the Ministry of Health to help protect our vulnerable residents and staff.

As a heads up, the next phase we may enter is to limit our visitation hours.
If this happens, visitors will need to undergo a screening process before being allowed into the facility.
We ask for your patience if we start this process.
We will advise further if this is implemented.

Furthermore, if directed by the Ministry of Health, we will lock down the facility whereby any visits will be limited and will need to be authorised by Management only.

Van Trips / Birthday Parties / Group Gatherings
We have suspended all van trips, birthday parties and any group planned activities until further notice.
We will advise when these will be resumed.

Annual Influenza Immunisation Programme
We have been advised today that the Ministry of Health is bringing forward the immunisation programme from tomorrow 18th March 2020.
We had already begun the planning for this and seeking approvals/consent and vaccines will be administered as soon as possible.
Given the current situation, it is advisable that everyone at risk be immunised.
Further details on this are here. Influenza 2020 letter aged care.

We have further increased our cleaning of all surfaces, handles and hand rails as an additional measure to stop the spread of any illnesses.


As our residents are at very high risk, we ask that you please follow the Ministry of Health’s guidelines as per the attached flyer and the instructions on their website.

Therefore, please DO NOT visit the facility if you have any of the these symptoms:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature (at least 38°C)
  • shortness of breath.

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19.
The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
Shortness of breath is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

We don’t yet know how long symptoms take to show after a person has been infected, but current World Health Organization assessments suggest that it is 2–10 days.
If you have these symptoms and have recently been to a country or area of concern, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, please telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor immediately.
Please inform us immediately and self-isolate for 14 days.

Again, as this situation is evolving daily, we will keep you informed of any further changes as they become available.

Please let us know if you have any queries or concerns.

Kind regards,