Updated 18 June 2020

NZACA Guidance to Aged Residential Care at Covid-19 Level 1                 

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Covid-19 Level 1 consists of a removal of domestic Covid-19 restrictions due to elimination of Covid-19 in New Zealand.  Physical distancing is no longer specifically required.

Attention to infection prevention and control practices need to be maintained. This is a good time to review IPC policies and procedures to ensure they reflect Covid-19 additions and learnings.

Screening

A COVID-19 screening form has been developed for Alert Level 1 by the Ministry of Health. This form must be completed a maximum of 48 hours before proposed transfer or admission to an Aged Residential Care facility.

Testing

Covid-19 testing is only required in accordance with the Covid-19 case definition.

14-day Isolation

14-day isolation for new admissions is no longer required.

Visiting

Ensure all visitors are aware of the need for ongoing infection prevention measures due to the vulnerable population in aged residential care.

There must be a register of visitors for the purposes of contact tracing. This should include a declaration that the visitor has no potentially infectious illness. Visits may continue to be by appointment or pre-arrangement but should not be restricted.

No visitor who arrives in New Zealand at level 1 should visit a facility without providing evidence of a negative Covid-19 test and a surgical mask is recommended. See additional guidance.

Short term respite

All respite and day care can recommence.

PPE

PPE is not required except for Covid-19 suspect, probable or confirmed cases where full contact and droplet precautions are recommended. This includes PPE to be worn, including N95 masks.  A confirmed case is likely to lead to a change in the national Covid-19 risk level.

Leaving the facility

Leaving the facility is a right and cannot be restricted at level 1. Residents can be encouraged to be responsible for good hygiene practice and to keep a record of their movements for the purposes of contract tracing.

Regular activities

Regular activities can all recommence.  Ensure all providers of services are aware of the need for ongoing infection prevention measures and that they must not attend or continue with sessions if at all unwell.

Rhonda Sherriff, NZACA Clinical Advisor, is available for members to seek clinical advice between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) on 0800 445 200 or helpline@nzaca.org.nz

 

Neil Miller
Senior Policy Advisor

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