18
March
2020
|
03:28
Australia/Melbourne

Updates from Bupa NZ regarding COVID-19

Please find below the latest updates on COVID-19.

05 June - Information sent to families of rehabilitation clients. 

With very few or no COVID-19 infections being reported for 13 days, we have made the decision that commencing Thursday 11th June, we will be relaxing some of our visitor restrictions.

Updated visitor guidelines

From Thursday, the below restrictions for visiting our Rehabilitation Facilities will apply:

  • We continue to ask that you do not visit if you feel at all unwell, e.g. have a temperature or have any gastro / cold / flu symptoms. This is vital to protect the health of all our clients and team members.
  • Extended visiting hours from: 10am to 5pm, 7 days a week.
  • You will no longer need to contact the Facility Coordinator to book visiting times.
  • Entry to the facility must continue to be through the front entrance and wait for a team member to assist you.
  • You will be required to sanitise your hands on arrival - but will no longer have to wear a mask.
  • You will be required to provide personal details (name, phone number and the person you are visiting) for contact tracing and as agreement that you meet the requirements of our Health Declaration.
  • There will be no restrictions on how many people can visit each client.
  • Each visiting session has a 2 hour time limit.
  • All children will now be allowed to visit.
  • You will be required to maintain physical distancing where possible when entering and moving around the facility.
  • Visiting will preferably be in the client’s room, or at an appropriate distance from others where able.
  • Clients will continue to be required to take a Contact Tracing Form when leaving the facility to visit family and whānau, for completion while out.

Resumption of other services

  • Client leave will resume to for 2 nights within any 7 days, however, contact tracing will be required.
  • Normal outings and community activities will commence without restrictions, however, contact tracing will be required.
  • We will be accepting parcels dropped off for clients, and family members may resume washing client’s personal clothes if desired.

Thank you again for understanding and for helping us maintain the safest possible environment for your loved ones in our facility.

Please continue to visit the Government’s website for the most up to date COVID-19 advice.

 

 

 

05 June - Information sent to families of care home residents. 

With very few or no COVID-19 infections being reported for 12 days, we have made the decision that commencing Friday 5th June, we will be relaxing some of our visitor restrictions.

Updated visitor guidelines

From Friday, the below restrictions for visiting our Care Homes will apply:

  • We continue to ask that you do not visit if you feel at all unwell, e.g. have a temperature or have any gastro / cold / flu symptoms. This is vital to protect the health of all our residents and team members.
  • Extended visiting hours from: 11am to 5pm.
  • You will no longer need to contact the Care Home to book in visiting times.
  • Entry to the Care Home must continue to be through the main reception.
  • You will be required to sanitise your hands on arrival - but will no longer have to wear a mask.
  • You will be required to provide personal details (name, phone number and the person you are visiting) for contact tracing and as agreement that you meet the requirements of our Health Declaration.
  • There will be no restrictions on how many people can visit each resident or how long you can stay (although we would discourage long visits of more than an hour or so duration).
  • All children will now be allowed to visit.
  • You will be required to maintain physical distancing where possible when entering and moving around the Care Home.
  • Visiting will preferably be in the resident’s room, or at an appropriate distance from others where able.
  • Residents will continue to be required to take a Contact Tracing Form when leaving the Care Home to visit family and whānau, for completion while out.

Resumption of other services

  • Daycare services will resume from Friday 5th June.
  • From Friday 5th June, we will also be accepting parcels dropped off for residents, and family members may resume washing resident’s personal clothes if desired.
  • Respite residents and new admissions will be required to undergo 14 days isolation until Thursday 11th June.

Interaction with co-located Villages

  • The doors between the Care Home and Village will reopen for ease of access between the facilities. However, visitors are required to have registered at reception prior to visiting.

Thank you again for understanding and for helping us maintain the safest possible environment for your loved ones in our Care Home.

Please continue to visit the Government’s website for the most up to date COVID-19 advice.

 

 

 

05 June - Information sent to retirement village residents. 

We are now three weeks into COVID-19 Alert Level 2 around the country, and as each day passes it is pleasing to see very few or no COVID-19 cases being reported.

It has been fantastic to have village life start to return to normal during Alert Level 2, with visitors welcomed and our common areas like community centres, libraries and gyms opening again.

Our contact tracing system has been implemented, and is there to help us record the movements of all external visitors in case we need to quickly track and isolate any COVID-19 cases. We will continue to use this under Alert Level 1.

As restrictions around New Zealand continue to loosen in anticipation of Alert Level 1, we have made the following changes at our villages, effective from Friday 5th of June.

Wellness Clinics

Wellness Clinics will re-open and be available for appointments. Please book ten-minute appointment slots to avoid queueing in a small space while you wait.

Care Home Meal Delivery

Care Home meal delivery will begin again for those who received these meals prior to the COVID-19 lockdown. You will begin receiving these from Friday, served in your village’s dining room. Our internet grocery shopping options continue throughout Alert Level 2 and we will be back in touch to advise if this will continue under Alert Level 1.

Happy hour

As your manager explained to you last week, ‘happy hour’ can now happen in your community area.

Village reception cover

Extra staff in the village apartments at weekends has now concluded.

Care Homes

The doors between the Care Home and village will reopen for ease of access between the facilities. However, visitors are required to have registered at reception prior to visiting.

Restricted Care Home visiting guidelines

From Friday 5th June, we will be relaxing some of our Care Home visitor restrictions:

  • We continue to ask that you do not visit if you feel at all unwell, e.g. have a temperature or have any gastro / cold / flu symptoms. This is vital to protect the health of all our residents and team members.
  • Extended visiting hours from 11am to 5pm.
  • You will no longer need to contact the Care Home to book in visiting times.
  • Entry to the Care Home must continue to be through the main reception.
  • You will be required to sanitise your hands on arrival - but will no longer have to wear a mask.
  • You will be required to provide personal details (name, phone number and the person you are visiting) for contact tracing and as agreement that you meet the requirements of our Health Declaration.
  • There will be no restrictions on how many people can visit each resident or how long you can stay (although we would discourage long visits of more than an hour or so duration).
  • All children will now be allowed to visit.
  • You will be required to maintain physical distancing where possible when entering and moving around the Care Home.
  • Visiting will preferably be in the resident’s room, or at an appropriate distance from others where able.
  • Residents will continue to be required to complete a Contact Tracing Form when leaving the Care Home to visit family and whanau.

We have all done so well together and I do want to thank you for your patience and your support over the past few months. We will continue to follow the Ministry of Health’s guidance and currently we are still in Alert Level 2 for the time being. This level is the ‘Reduce’ phase and so we do need to continue to play it safe. This includes thorough and regular hand washing and maintaining physical distancing of two metres with strangers and one metre with friends and acquaintances.

Thank you again for your support and cooperation with our COVID-19 guidelines so far, and for your continued understanding.

 

 

 

13 May - Information sent to families of care home residents. 

Visitor Guidelines

With the move to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 and in line with guidance from the Ministry of Health, we will begin restricted visiting at all of our Care Homes on Thursday the 14th of May. To help us to continue to keep our residents and team members safe, the following guidelines must be followed please.

Please read the information below carefully.

We appreciate your support and patience as we navigate this new alert level together. We will be reviewing these requirements in 2 weeks’ time and will share any relevant changes with you as soon as we can.

We are delighted to welcome you back into our Care Home and are sure your loved ones will be even more excited!

Visiting Restrictions

  • Each resident will initially be restricted to two named visitors.

    • Care Home employees will discuss with the individual residents and their EPOAs and note down who those two visitors should be.

  • There will be only one visitor per session.

  • Each visiting session has a 30 minute time limit.

    • We will inform visitors when the 30 minutes is coming to an end to allow you to say your goodbyes.

  • No children (under 12 years), or pets, will be allowed to visit unless there are exceptional circumstances.

    • This needs prior approval of the Care Home Manager.

Visiting Hours

  • Visiting hours, 7 days a week, are designated as:

    • 11.00am – 12pm

    • 3.30pm – 4.30pm

  • Any visiting outside of these hours is on a case by case basis at the Care Home Manager’s discretion.

  • You will be required to phone the Care Home Reception before visiting and book in.

    • You will be asked to provide your name and contact details so we can contact trace all visitors to our Care Home.

    • You may be asked to please arrive up to 15 minutes early to allow us to carefully manage visitor numbers.

  • Please use designated car parking, if available, and wait in your car before your visiting time.

    • Please do not crowd at the reception area and ensure you maintain the recommended 2 metre physical distancing rules.

Once you’re at the Care Home

  • All visitors will need to sign in at reception once invited to enter the building.

    • You will be required to clean your hands with alcohol-based sanitiser on arrival.

    • All visitors must read and agree to a Visitor Declaration, these visiting guidelines and a privacy statement, before signing the Visitor’s Register.

    • We ask that you do not visit if you feel at all unwell or have any cold/flu symptoms. This is vital to protect the health of all our residents and team members.

  • Once you have signed in a staff member will give you a mask and advise you on how to fit it properly.

  • You will be escorted directly to the room of the resident you are visiting, using the most direct route.

    • Please do not touch anything as you make your way to the room and do not stop to talk to anyone else.

  • Please sit in the chairs provided in your resident’s room and avoid touching surfaces.

    • Once in the resident’s room you can remove your mask and keep it ready for the exit walk in 30 minutes. Please dispose of it by reception as you leave the building.

    • Each room will be wiped down between visitors.

  • For specialised Dementia and PG communities, masks must be worn at all times if not in the resident’s room.

    • Visiting will be with the resident wherever they are located in the Dementia Community, but we encourage visiting in the resident’s room where possible.

Parcels and Laundry

  • You may bring in small parcels and small amounts of food for your loved ones if you are visiting.

  • However, we will not be accepting parcels that are dropped off for residents.

  • Laundry will continue to be managed by the Care Home in the short term.

Virtually connecting with your loved one

  • We will continue to provide our residents with alternative ways to stay connected with their family/whanau through use of cell phones, tablet/iPads, and laptops.

Resumption of other services

  • We encourage contact with as few people as possible to ensure the ongoing health and safety of our vulnerable residents.

  • Van outings for residents will resume with limited numbers (to allow for physical distancing in the van) and outings will be closely monitored so there is no contact with the public.

  • Residents may go out with family members, but we request that it is only to that family member’s home or for a drive. Please do not visit any cafes etc. where the general public will be.

  • Residents used to walking in their neighbourhood or the care home grounds will be able to do so at the discretion of the Care Home Manager.

    • Those with cognitive impairment who may have difficulty understanding physical distancing should not go out alone.

  • Allied health professionals e.g. physiotherapy, will resume services, with aprons, masks and gloves worn to protect residents.

  • Hairdressers will also resume services from Monday 18th May, and will follow the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) personal protective equipment requirements, for example wearing masks.

Find out more

Thank you again for understanding and for helping us maintain the safest possible environment for your loved one in our Care home.

 

 

 

13 May - Information sent to families of rehabilitation clients. 

Visitor Restrictions

  • Visits are to be a maximum of two family/ whānau or friends per client at a time.

  • No children (under 12 years), or pets, will be allowed to visit unless there are exceptional circumstances.

    • This needs prior approval of the Facility Coordinator.

  • Each visiting session has a 30 minute time limit.

    • To be at the discretion of the Facility Coordinator taking into consideration:

      • Client preferences.

      • How many visitors can safely be supported at any time by employees.

      • The needs of all clients.

      • Extenuating situations (e.g. visitors travelling long distances or other compassionate grounds).

  • All clients are to be in their rooms for visiting times (where possible), or a designated whānau room appropriate to the facility can also be used for visiting.

Visiting Hours

  • Weekday visiting hours will be restricted to:

    • 10.00am – 11.30am

    • The Facility Coordinator will be on-site and available at reception during visiting hours.

  • Weekend visiting hours will be restricted to:

    • 1.30pm – 3pm

    • A Rehab Coach will be on-site and available at reception during visiting hours.

  • Visit times and days will need to be booked before visiting by phoning the Facility Coordinator.

    • The visitor will be asked to provide their name and contact details so we can contact trace all visitors to our facility.

At the Rehab Site

  • All visitors will need to sign in when they arrive at the facility.

    • They will be required to clean their hands with alcohol-based sanitiser on arrival. This will be provided at reception and/or designated areas.

    • All visitors must read and agree to a Visitor Health Declaration, these visiting guidelines and a Privacy Statement, before signing the Visitor Declaration Form.

    • We ask that people do not visit if they feel at all unwell or have any cold/flu symptoms. This is vital to protect the health of all our residents and team members.

    • Visitors will not be permitted to visit unless they have agreed to these conditions.

  • All visitors will be required to wear a mask while visiting. This will be provided.

    • The use (putting on and taking off) of any other PPE (e.g. if a client is in isolation) must be overseen by a team member following instruction.

  • Physical distancing of 2 metres is required where possible when moving around the facility.

  • The Facility Coordinator will set up the client’s room so there is a chair and discreet tape on the floor to designate the 1 metre distancing.

    • Once in the client’s room you can remove your mask and keep it ready for the exit walk in 30 minutes. Please dispose of it by reception as you leave the building.

  • Rehab employees will ensure cleaning of room after each visit.

    • Each room will have a cleaning schedule, so this is recorded after completion with an employee signature.

Activities

  • Van and car outings for clients will resume with limited numbers (to allow for physical distancing in the van) and outings will be closely monitored so there is no contact with any public.

    • No more than five clients at a time.

  • Clients may go out for a one hour off site outing with family/ whānau/ friends, but we request that it is only to that family/ whanau/ friend’s home or for a drive. Please do not visit any cafes etc. where the general public will be.

  • One client at a time will be allowed access to the gym or library, with the support of an employee. Please follow the facility guidelines.

  • Clients that are more independent are able to commence their community outings by themselves.

    • A signing in and out register is to be implemented.

    • All client’s weekly planners will be updated/reviewed by the Occupational Therapist of the site.

    • Please remember physical distancing, hand hygiene, and to socialise with no more than 10 people.

  • There is to be no social leave, including overnight stays or weekends away.

  • To avoid client use of public transport, an employee will escort the client to their designated venue.

Contractors

  • A schedule will be implemented for all external services, including physios and psychiatrists.

    • They must let the Facility Coordinator know what the purpose of the visit is before entering the facility.

  • Contractors are to meet clients in their bedrooms or a designated whānau room. They must also adhere to physical distancing, hand hygiene, and all Rehab Facility precautions.

    • Where necessary they will be provided with aprons, masks and gloves.

  • For podiatry services, there is to be one client with the podiatrist at any time, and clients must follow the guidelines of the service.

  • GP visits need to be organised by the on-site Registered Nurses.

  • Hairdressers can resume services from Monday the 18th of May, and will follow the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) personal protective equipment requirements. This PPE will be provided by the Rehab Facility if necessary.

Food and Parcels

  • You may bring in small parcels and small amounts of food for your loved ones if you are visiting.

    • Goods brought into the facility by the visitor must meet our infection prevention control guidelines, e.g. be packed and wiped down with antibacterial wipes or similar.

    • Acceptance of any goods is at the discretion of the Facility Coordinator/Rehab Coach.

·Food can be brought on site if it is purchased from a restaurant or takeaway store; or is packaged food from the supermarket. Food prepared at home is not allowed.

Pre-admissions

·If the potential client is in the DHB or in another service, this can still proceed. We need to follow the DHB guidelines.

·There is to be no home visits for pre-admissions. Please use virtual meetings if required.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • The weekly stocktake of PPE will become more critical with the increased use by visitors. Please remain vigilant in ensuring all PPE where possible is stored securely and cannot be accessed freely by visitors.

Find out more

  • The Government’s COVID website is a great source of factual, up-to-date information.

Thank you again for understanding and for helping us maintain the safest possible environment for your loved one in our Rehabilitation Facility.

 

 

 

13 May - Information sent to retirement village residents. 

Dear Resident,

From Thursday when you wake up, play it safe”, words from the Prime Minister as we enter Alert Level 2. Please continue to be extra cautious as we move into a new phase and some alert level restrictions are relaxed. You can play your part by continuing thorough and regular hand washing and maintaining physical distancing of two metres with strangers and one metre with friends and acquaintances.

Visitors

You will be able to visit your village neighbours, make sure there’s a one metre safe physical distance between you and keep the group to ten or less.

Hairdresser

Hairdressers who are located in a care home will resume their services from Monday 18 May, and will follow the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) personal protective equipment requirements. This PPE will be provided by the Care Home if necessary.If the hairdresser that does your hair is located in the care home next door, you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer to access their services. Please liaise with your village manager to book an appointment.

Community Centre

The Community Centre and communal areas will now be open and accessible, but again just keep that one metre safe physical distance between you and others. For example, a group (of ten maximum) playing cards should just keep chairs separated by one metre. If you are sitting around a table this will be easy to do. All village libraries, swimming pools and gyms (if applicable) will be open but again please remember one metre physical distancing and wipe down your equipment after use. Sadly, for now there is to be no ‘happy hour’, however as the Government relaxes the rules so will we.

Annual General Meeting

You should have received your papers for the next meeting by now. Please let your village manager know if you haven’t. We are exploring the possibility of postponing meetings until July/August, so it is possible to hold them “in person,” which we know is your preference. We’ll let you know as soon the Statutory Supervisor has made a decision.

Grocery shopping

Internet grocery shopping options will continue throughout Alert Level 2; however, we are concluding the milk delivery on Wednesday 13 May. Thank you for the many messages of thanks we have received in relation to the complementary milk delivery which we know was appreciated by many.

Meal service

The care home provided meal service will continue as it has under the previous Alert Levels. At Alert Level 2 we won’t return to the dining room, again this will be reviewed in two weeks.

Maintenance / refurbishments

Maintenance will continue such as lawns and property refurbishments and please ensure you maintain physical distancing from contractors present in your village.

Contact Tracing

A contact tracing system will be used to track the movements of all external visitors including Bupa staff, commercial contractors and relatives of residents. This is something the Government is keen to see happen across New Zealand so they can continue to quickly track and isolate any COVID19 cases. Contact tracing provides the information for that to happen. This will mainly be done by mobile phone or otherwise by a paper copy. We will provide more information for you in the coming weeks.

Village reception cover

Extra staff in the village apartments at weekends will continue for now to assist with the current careful provision of care home meals. We will review this in two weeks.

Wellness Clinics

The opening of Wellness clinics will be reviewed in two weeks. When we do open, we will ask you to please book ten-minute appointment slots to avoid queueing in a small space while awaiting your appointment.Care Homes

Access doors between care home and retirement village will remain closed. Respite care is now available, however, please note these residents will be isolated for 14 days and must meet the requirements of COVID-19 screening as per the Ministry of Health Screening Tool implemented last week.

Restricted Care Home visiting guidelines

  • Each care home resident will be restricted to two nominated visitors. No children (under 12 years), or pets, will be allowed to visit unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • There will only be one visitor per session during visiting hours, 7 days a week between 11am-12pm and 3.30pm-4.30pm. Each visiting session is 30-minutes duration.
  • You will be required to phone the Care Home Reception before visiting and book in. You will be asked to provide your contact details so we can contact trace all visitors to the Care Home.
  • All visitors will need to sign in at the care home reception and clean your hands with alcohol-based sanitiser on arrival. You must then read and agree to a Visitor Health Declaration, and a Privacy Statement, before signing the Visitor Declaration Form.
  • Care home visitors will be provided with a mask and shown how to fit it properly. You will be escorted directly to the room of the resident you are visiting. Please sit in the chairs provided in your resident’s room and avoid touching surfaces. Once in the resident’s room you can remove your mask and keep it ready for the exit walk in 30 minutes. Please dispose of it by reception as you leave the building. Each room will be wiped down between visitors.
  • For specialised Dementia and PG communities, masks must be worn at all times if not in the resident’s room. Visiting will be with the resident wherever they are located in the Dementia Community, but we encourage visiting in the resident’s room where possible.
  • We ask that you do not visit the care home if you feel at all unwell or have any cold/flu symptoms.

Finally, I’d like to personally thank you for supporting our efforts during this COVID-19 response. Your support has meant the continued safety and wellbeing of all residents.

So now as things change once again please remember to keep it small, keep your distance and continue to be vigilant during Alert Level 2.

 

 

04 May - Bupa welcomes community testing in aged care. 

As New Zealand moves down COVID-19 alert levels, we will be playing our part to ensure New Zealand stays ahead of the virus and potential community transmission. That’s why we will be cooperating with the Ministry of Health and local District Health Boards in standard COVID-19 employee community testing carried out in some care homes across aged care providers.

The testing in selected communities will also include other health care sectors and businesses that include essential workers such as supermarkets. We continue to have our infection, prevention and control measures in place and welcome the opportunity to be part of testing as we all help to stop the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

 

 

30 April - Information sent to retirement village residents. 

Alert Level 3 has seen a few changes to the daily lives of New Zealanders but it’s important to remember how essential it is to be extra vigilant when over 70 years of age. Maintain a small bubble around you at this time and please continue with physical distancing and precautions when touching surfaces in public.

We are preparing for alert Level 2 with the first review on May 11th. We will advise you the residents and our staff of the changes Level 2 will bring in good time so that we can all prepare for that transition.

Retirement Village Annual General Meeting

Our Annual General Meetings commence on 25th May. The meeting papers are in transit to the South Island villages and should be delivered to everyone this week. Normally the meeting is held in the community space at the village. As all the meetings occur in May and June we expect there to be restrictions on the number of people that can gather together during that time. Therefore it may be necessary to have a telephone meeting that discusses the papers tabled and gives residents an opportunity to ask questions. We will advise you about details for phoning into the meeting closer to the time.

Village communal areas

The Community Centre and all communal areas remain closed at this time as does access to the Care Home at Level 3. Milk delivery will continue and there will be staff at the village apartment receptions during Alert Level 3 on weekend days.

Grocery shopping and exercise

Guidelines around grocery shopping and leaving the retirement village for walks remains the same – if possible stay home. While this is recommended you are not prohibited from going to the supermarket or for a walk on the beach in Level 3. We intend to ensure that an online ordering service for groceries continues to be available in the future for our retirement village residents.

So remember to keep your bubble small and that means please refrain from having friends over for dinner for example. Respect distancing between others and look out for one another as we navigate through this Level 3 phase together.

 

 

28 April - Media release from Hawke's Bay District Health Board

The Ministry of Health today reported one new COVID-19 case in Hawke’s Bay. This takes the total for the region to 44.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones said the new case, a female, was a healthcare worker at Gladys Mary Care Home, Napier. She had never had any symptoms.

The case came to light following surveillance testing initiated by the DHB’s Public Health unit of all staff members at the care home and would also be linked to the Ruby Princess significant cluster.

On Sunday, 26 April, a male healthcare worker from the home was also confirmed with COVID, despite displaying no obvious symptoms.

Dr Jones said close contacts of today’s confirmed case had been followed up and there was no wider risk to the public. Public Health had also met with residents at a holiday park where the man had been living and precautionary testing of residents would be completed today.

“Thanks to this additional testing we have detected COVID cases that would have otherwise gone unnoticed and we continue to work very closely with Gladys Mary Care Home on further testing.

“It is possible that the two recently detected cases were infected some time ago and are no longer infectious. However, it is clear that we cannot assume there are no active transmission chains and we must therefore remain vigilant and follow strict hygiene and physical distancing measures when exiting our household bubbles, particularly given we have now moved into Alert Level 3,” he said.

Dr Jones cautioned people to treat anyone and any surface as if infected with COVID-19.

“Keep your distance from people and because you will be touching other surfaces remember to avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes until your hands have been thoroughly washed for at least 20 seconds with soapy water, which washes viruses away.”

It was also important for anyone with symptoms, no matter how mild; such as a runny nose or sore throat, to stay home and call either their GP or Healthline so they can be assessed for referral to a Community-based Assessment Centre (CBAC) for testing.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include cold or flu-like illness with one or more of the following: a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, a runny nose or loss of smell.

Feeling unwell? Call your GP or Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453 to be assessed for referral to a Community-Based Assessment Centre (CBAC) for testing.

 

 

27 April - Media release from Hawke's Bay District Health Board

The Ministry of Health today reported no new COVID-19 cases in Hawke’s Bay. The total for the region remains at 43 - 30 of those people are now fully recovered.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones said Public Health had completed its investigation into the new case notified yesterday and could now confirm this man was a healthcare worker at Gladys Mary Care Home, Napier. The case would now also be linked to the Ruby Princess significant cluster.

The man had been tested as part of the surveillance testing the district health board initiated of all staff members at Gladys Mary Care Home’s dementia unit. The man had no obvious symptoms.

The district health board was working with the owners of Gladys Mary Care Home and would be conducting further testing.

Dr Jones said as the man had been living at a holiday park, and had been sharing some facilities with others, Public Health was now testing everyone who had also been living there.

The man had been moved to other accommodation where he would remain in strict isolation for the next 14 days.

Dr Jones said he was confident the risk to anyone else at the holiday park was very low but to ensure, in the unlikely instance, there were other cases the decision had been made to test everyone living there. Public Health was working closely with the holiday park management team to ensure everyone living there was informed today.

“We are pleased surveillance testing is doing what it should, which has meant we have been able to identify a COVID-19 case, which may have otherwise have gone unnoticed.”

Dr Jones said this case highlighted how important it was for anyone with symptoms, no matter how mild; such as a runny nose or sore throat, to call either their GP or Healthline so they can be assessed for referral to a Community-based Assessment Centre (CBAC) for testing.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include cold or flu-like illness with one or more of the following: a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, a runny nose or loss of smell.

Feeling unwell? Call your GP or Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453 to be assessed for referral to a Community-Based Assessment Centre (CBAC) for testing.

 

 

23 April - Information sent to relatives of our care home residents. 

The Government announced on Monday afternoon that the country will be moving into COVID-19 Alert Level 3 as of 11:59pm Monday 27th April. The country will be in Alert Level 3 for two weeks from this date, before being reviewed by Cabinet on 11th May. Under Alert Level 3 there is still a high risk the disease is not fully contained and at Bupa we continue to focus on the importance of keeping our residents and employees protected against COVID-19 infection.

What Alert Level 3 means for our care homes

Visiting

At Alert Level 3 our Care Homes will remain closed to all visitors. This is in line with our industry peers and reflects the limited changes between Levels 3 and 4. The only exception will be for families of those residents nearing end of life or similar circumstance compassionate grounds. Please note this will be at my discretion. For example, if a resident has had a recent family bereavement and needs to be supported by a family member. Following a bereavement, the partner or a family member is allowed a support person for clearing of personal items, etc.

Delivery of food, parcels and laundry

At Alert Level 3, we will continue to not accept food, general parcels or laundry deliveries from families for their loved ones. The only exceptions to this are:

  • Courier parcels, as they are set up with the necessary hygiene protocols in preparation and utilise contactless delivery, so are permitted.
  • We will allow strictly limited essential clothing items to be dropped off in a contactless way at the reception area between the hours of 1-3pm, weekdays only, until we are in Alert Level 2. An example of this would be 1-2 already labelled warm clothing items for residents to wear in the cooler weather. We will not accept a large volume of items and will not accept food items. Thank you for your patience and understanding with this over the next few weeks. Please note we will ensure a warm ambient temperature at our home.

Interaction with co-located Villages - restrictions maintained

The doors between the Care Home and Village will continue to be closed. There is to be no movement between Villages and Care Homes, and any common facilities will not be available for use.

Connecting with loved ones
We will continue to provide our residents with alternative ways to stay connected with their family/ whānau through use of cell phones, tablet/iPads, and laptops.

We have also introduced ‘Pictures for Pensioners’ where we are encouraging children to draw or paint a picture for a Bupa resident and to send it to our Bupa NZ Facebook page in a private message. The photos are then sent to all 48 Bupa Care Homes across New Zealand to share with their residents.

When the nation moves back to Alert Level 2, we will be back in touch with you to let you know what this means for our Care Homes and your loved one.

Once again, thank you very much for your understanding, support and cooperation as we work through this unprecedented time together.

 

 

23 April - Information sent to relatives of our rehabilitation clients. 

The Government announced on Monday afternoon that the country will be moving into COVID-19 Alert Level 3 as of 11:59pm Monday 27th April. The country will be in Alert Level 3 for two weeks from this date, before being reviewed by Cabinet on 11th May. Under Alert Level 3 there is still a high risk the disease is not fully contained and at Bupa we continue to focus on the importance of keeping our clients and employees protected against COVID-19 infection.

What Alert Level 3 means for our Rehabilitation Facilities

Visiting

At Alert Level 3 our Rehabilitation Facilities will remain closed to all visitors. The only exception will be for compassionate grounds, and please note this will be at my discretion. For example, if a client has had a recent family bereavement and needs to be supported by a family member.

Client restrictions

The following restrictions still apply for our clients under Alert Level 3:

  • No external trips out, no home visits, no leave,
  • Clients can go to the supermarket or for a walk once a day but must apply physical distancing of 2 metres,
  • All other people on site to maintain physical distancing of 2 metres as per government guidelines,
  • Clients to practice regular and thorough handwashing.

Delivery of food, parcels and laundry

  • At Alert Level 3, we will continue to not accept food, general parcels or laundry deliveries from families for their loved ones.
  • The only exceptions to the above are:
    • Courier parcels, as they are set up with the necessary hygiene protocols in preparation and utilise contactless delivery, so are permitted.
    • We will allow strictly limited essential clothing items to be dropped off in a contactless way between the hours of 1-3pm, weekdays only, until we are in Alert Level 2. An example of this would be 1-2 already labelled warm clothing items for clients to wear in the cooler weather. We will not accept a large volume of items and will not accept food items. Thank you for your patience and understanding with this over the next few weeks. Please note we will ensure a warm ambient temperature at our facility.

Connecting with loved ones
We will continue to provide our clients with alternative ways to stay connected with their family/ whānau through use of cell phones, tablet/iPads, and laptops.

When the nation moves back to Alert Level 2, we will be back in touch with you to let you know what this means for our Rehabilitation Facilities and your loved one.

Once again, thank you very much for your understanding, support and cooperation as we work through this unprecedented time together.

 

 

22 April - Information sent to retirement village residents. 

Now that the Government has outlined the Alert Level 3 guidelines beginning after

Anzac Day, it’s important to remember this is a marathon not a sprint to normality again.So as we continue with Alert Level 4 until after next Monday, you’ll find below some information on the new alert level from next Tuesday onwards.

Community Centre

The Community Centre and communal areas remain closed during Alert Level 3.

Grocery shopping and exercise

Guidelines around grocery shopping and leaving the retirement village for walks remains the same as Alert Level 4.

Meal service and milk delivery

The meal service and milk deliveries will continue as they have been.

Care Homes

The doors between the care home and retirement village will continue to be closed. Respite, Day Care and Wellness Clinics are not available to retirement village residents at Level 3.

Village reception cover

You will continue to see staff at the village apartment receptions during Alert Level 3 on weekends.

Your bubble during Alert Level 3

In Alert Level 3 people must stay within their immediate household bubble, but they can expand this to reconnect with close family / whānau, or bring in caregivers, or support isolated people. It’s important to protect your bubble once it’s been extended. Keep your bubble exclusive and only include people where it will keep you and them safe and well. If anyone within your bubble feels unwell, they self-isolate from everyone else within your bubble.

Saturday 25 April will once again be a day of remembrance, a day of pride, a day of friendship, a day of freedom and…a day of gratitude. As we continue to be in our bubbles at home we will think of those who made the biggest sacrifice of all, their own lives, for our land, our people and our freedom.

 

 

15 April - Information sent to retirement village residents. 

As we make our way through week three of Alert Level 4, it is natural to be feelingrestless in your own ‘bubble’ at your villa or apartment. I do urge you though to continue to please be vigilant in following the Ministry of Health guidelines which include not congregating in groups, not leaving the village unless for exercise or grocery shopping, and continuing hand hygiene.

Bidfood orders

There are changes to the Bidfood timetable for submission of your orders. Orders for Tuesday and Friday deliveries close at midday. Delivery days will now be on a Tuesday and Thursday with this beginning from 17 April 2020. We can also confirm Bidfood have increased the items available, now offering even greater variety.

Care homes

It is with great sadness to see in the media some care homes in New Zealand having outbreaks of COVID-19. Please remember that while these are only a small minority, it shows the importance of following the Ministry of Health guidelines as it can have a devastating effect on those who are most vulnerable and have other underlying health related illnesses.

Question and answer session

We are currently working on a question and answer video for families of village residents with myself and our Managing Director who will be answering common questions your families may have. I will let you know where you can access this video next week.

I want to thank you once again for following the Government’s guidance during Alert Level 4 and for looking out for your neighbours with a simple phone call. As time goes by, you will be safe from the virus in your unit/villa and Bupa will continue to keep you safe by ensuring all staff follow protocols for deliveries and interactions with you all.

Thank you also for the positive feedback about the complementary milk.

 

 

13 April - Media release from Hawke's Bay District Health Board

The Ministry of Health, today reported three new COVID-19 cases in Hawke’s Bay – the total for the region is now 41.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Rachel Eyre said none of the new cases were linked to either the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) or the Flaxmere case.

Of today’s new cases one is a female in her 40s. This case is currently being investigated to determine the origin of the contact – but EIT and Flaxmere cases have been ruled out of being in any way connected.

The other is a male in his 80s who is a resident at Gladys Mary Care Home Napier, this person was previously listed as a probable case but a test has confirmed COVID-19. The other case a male in his 70s recently returned from overseas, and all the appropriate isolation rules have been followed.

Dr Eyre said people needed to trust the public health team who were following up and directly contacting close contacts of people who tested positive for COVID-19.

“There is a lot of work that goes into the background contact tracing of every case - we have a large team working on this as we want to make sure we have identified everyone who potentially could have come into close contact with COVID-19.

“People also needed to be confident in the health system, Dr Eyre said and not neglect potential serious health conditions because of concern around COVID-19.

“The Emergency Department at Hawke’s Bay Hospital and other accident and medical centres will keep people away from anyone with COVID-19 symptoms – its important people get checked if they have other concerns that aren’t related to COVID-19.”

If anyone has COVID-19 symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or loss of smell and taste, to contact their GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to be tested and remain at home while waiting for results.

 

 

06 April - Media release from Hawke's Bay District Health Board

The Ministry of Health reported four Covid-19 cases in Hawke’s Bay, today - two probable and two confirmed. This takes the total for the region to 33.

Probable cases, are cases that are a close contact of a previously confirmed case that meets the clinical criteria of having COVID-19.

Of today’s confirmed cases one is a female in her 60s who has recently returned from overseas directly into isolation, and there is no other contact tracing required.

One confirmed (male in his 30s) case and one probable (female in her 20s) case have attended large gatherings in other areas of New Zealand and public health is actively investigating if these cases are related to clusters elsewhere in the country. If there is any wider risk to the community it will be communicated and anyone that may be a close contact will be contacted by public health.

The other probable case (male in his 60s) is a household contact of a confirmed case and there is no further contact tracing required.

All of today’s cases are recovering well and no-one has required hospital treatment.

Today, the district health board releases a table broken down into territorial authority boundaries of where confirmed COVID-19 cases are located. (This includes probable numbers). This table also shows the recovered cases by locality.

Medical Officer of Health Rachel Eyre said the district health board had provided transparent information from the outset of the pandemic, where there was a wider risk to the public from a confirmed case. In particular we have identified specific outbreaks of any confirmed groups such as the Ruby Princess and the Gladys Mary Care Home.

"Releasing this table, as the numbers have grown, means there is less likelihood of people being identified. The majority of Hawke’s Bay cases are returned overseas travelers and all have done the right thing by self-isolating upon their return. The numbers won’t be broken down any further to protect the identities of people with COVID-19.

"We want to find anyone who has COVID-19, that is our priority. The changed Ministry of Health definition for testing, allows for more tests to be completed removing the requirement for having been overseas or in contact with a confirmed case.

Dr Eyre said she strongly encouraged people who developed or had a cold or flu-like illness and one of the following: a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, a runny nose or loss of smell, regardless of whether or not they have a temperature, to call their GP or Healthline to be referred to one of our community testing stations.

"We have the testing capacity, and New Zealand’s laboratories have the capacity to process the tests, so please take advantage of this."

Today’s Ministry of Health national case updates can be found here: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/ 

 

 

03 April - Media release from Hawke's Bay District Health Board

The Ministry of Health reported five Covid-19 cases in Hawke’s Bay, today – three probable and two confirmed. This takes the total for the region to 24.

Probable cases, are cases that are a close contact of a previously confirmed case that meets the clinical criteria of having COVID-19.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones said the two confirmed cases, both in their 50s, had returned from overseas and self-isolated upon their return. Flight details have been passed onto the national close contact centre for identification and follow- up.

Dr Jones said of the three probable cases; one was a child who was a close household contact of a previously confirmed case. The child was isolated at home and hadn’t required medical attention. The other two probable cases were two residents at Gladys Mary Care Home, Napier.

Gladys Mary Care Home now has a group of five residents – three confirmed and two probable cases - of COVID-19. The five cases were doing well and none of them had required additional medical assistance, at this stage, he said.

Dr Jones said Hawke’s Bay DHB was working closely with Bupa, the owners of the care home, and additional support; including registered and student nurses to help staff at the home, a liaison person with the DHB and the care home had also been established along with further Personal Protective Equipment, (PPE) had been provided.

Bupa was working hard to keep residents separated, as was practically possible within a dementia care home context. “We have been reassured by Bupa that they have been able to maintain their high standards of care for their residents, during this time,” Dr Jones said.

Dr Jones reiterated that anyone unwell with a cough, fever, sneezing or a runny nose to contact their GP or call Healthline so they could be assessed. Dr Jones reminded people that they needed an appointment at a CBAC before they could be assessed.

People are also able to call Healthline’s free 24/7 dedicated COVID-19 number on 0800 358 5453 for advice. Interpreters are available on request.

Today’s Ministry of Health national case updates can be found here: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/

 


03 April - Information sent to care home residents their families. 

We really appreciate your cooperation, patience and understanding as we all adjust our daily routines in response to COVID-19, and the Alert Level 4 in place across New Zealand.

As a reminder, everyone except “essential workers” is expected to stay at home to stop the spread of COVID-19. Our team at Bupa are classified as “essential workers”, and we continue to support you all as we navigate these changing and unforeseen times together.

Unfortunately, we know from overseas experience with COVID-19 infections, older Kiwis are among the most vulnerable groups who can be affected by this virus. We must do everything we possibly can to protect our precious older Kiwis. Therefore, we are taking the following steps to limit exposure to COVID-19 and help everyone stay well.

Enhanced infection prevention and control measures in place

Across all our Care Homes in New Zealand, we continue to apply strict infection prevention and control measures. These include ceasing all visitor access to our Care Homes and emphasising both physical distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols.

We understand and empathise with you about not being able to visit your loved ones in person during this time. Please know that we are acting in line with Ministry of Health instructions and with the best interests of all our residents and staff in mind.

Helping you stay connected to your loved ones

To make sure your loved one can reach you at any time, where possible we recommend that you provide them with a device like a cell phone or tablet/iPad for their personal use in the Care Home. We can connect these devices to our resident WiFi network for you.

This week we are also providing an extra laptop and several cell phones to each Care Home to use for residents’ purposes only. We understand your frustration if you cannot contact your loved one immediately, but we are doing our best to share these devices amongst all our residents. We will help your loved ones make and receive calls on these devices. Your Care Home Manager will advise you of the contact details of these as soon as possible.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

In general, our Bupa team members do not need to wear gloves in an environment where there is no infection present; be it COVID-19 or seasonal flu. This remains the advice from the Ministry of Health. However, some of our staff may choose to wear a mask purely from personal choice at this time. This is a Government decision and we are implementing this across our sites in