Updated 18 September 2020

NZACA advice to rest homes for visits at COVID-19 Alert Level 2.

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The following recommendations are to manage visiting to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission to residents and staff.

1. Specified facility visiting hours

• All visits to be by agreement with the clinical or facility manager.
• Consider regular visiting hours for each individual site / unit when staff are available to ensure adherence to additional health and safety / infection control requirements.
• A roster of visiting times where visitors pick a regular time to visit each week may be helpful.

2. Maximum number of  visitors

• Clinical or facility managers may limit the number of visitors per resident to manage the volumes of visitors.
• Maintain a log of all visitors including their contact details and who they have contact with during their visit (i.e. staff and resident visited).
• Children under 12 years only with the prior approval of the clinical or facility manager.

3. Length of visits

• Length of visits to be at the discretion of the clinical manager taking into consideration:
– resident preferences
– how many visitors can safely be supported at any time by staff
– the needs of all residents
– extenuating situations (e.g. visitors travelling long distances and end of life visits).
• Visitors should be aware of the anticipated length of the visit prior to visiting.

4. Infection prevention and control (IPC)

• All visitors must respond to screening questions to verify that they have no signs and symptoms of potentially infectious illness.
• Staff need to explain the IPC procedures visitors are expected to follow.
• Hand hygiene is required for all visitors on entry and when requested by staff for IPC.
• Physical distancing is advised, but some physical contact can be allowed.
• Masks are advised to prevent the spread of infection.
• Visitors to residents at the end of life may have the use of masks waived whilst in the resident’s room at the discretion of the clinical or facility manager.
• The use (putting on and taking off) of any additional PPE must be overseen by staff following instruction.
• Goods brought into the facility by the visitor must meet IPC guidelines (e.g. be wiped down) and is at the discretion of the clinical or facility manager.

5. Designated areas

• Visitors should be advised where they can go during the visit.
• The visitor may be escorted by a designated staff member to and from the resident.

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


Rhonda Sherriff
NZACA Clinical Advisor