Update: 25 March 2020
In preparation for the whole of New Zealand going into a level 4 lockdown later tonight, the Ministry of Health have advised all operators to completely secure their facilities as follows:
“full cessation of non-essential services and family visits (i.e other than life supporting clinical)”
“full cessation of family visits except for access for families with residents receiving palliative care – subject to public health direction”
Therefore, this means that for the period of the lockdown, we will not be allowing any external visitors to our site unless they meet the strict criteria as above.
For those family members who wish to drop off supplies to residents who live independently within our Retirement Village, these must be dropped to the Concierge at the new Terraces building between 10am and 4pm – Monday to Friday, and staff will arrange for these to be delivered directly to the resident.
We ask that all family and friends respect these arrangements and do not attempt to visit independent residents out of hours, nor should you ask them to go into the community to visit you.
All of our residents are over 70 years of age and are all in the most vulnerable age group should they contract COVID-19.
We know that this is a very difficult time for everyone, but please do not risk compromising our residents’ health and wellbeing by being tempted to see them during this lockdown period.
We hope that you all remain safe, and we look forward to welcoming you all back to St Andrew’s in the future as soon as it is practical and safe to do so.
St Andrew’s Village Executive Team
Update – 23 March 2020
Following the unprecedented announcements made by Prime Minister Ardern over the past few days outlining the COVID-19 alert level increases which will move to level 4 from Wednesday 25 March 2020, please find detailed below the additional steps which St Andrew’s have already introduced.
Changes affecting Care Centre residents (incl Balmoral, Iona, Stirling and Braemar).
· For the foreseeable future we will only be allowing visitors to see residents who are palliative and in their last days of life. All approved visitors will need to go through a screening and temperature check process at the main reception area before they will be allowed into the building.
· We ask that any approved visitors who are on our premises follow the direction of staff members at all times, and limit their visit to the family member concerned. We ask that you maintain appropriate social distancing (i.e. 2m) from any other resident you may see whilst on our premises.
· We have placed barriers across the road at our main Riddell Road entrance which are patrolled by staff and they are preventing all non-urgent visitors from visiting.
Unfortunately, we were still getting a very small number of visitors over the weekend who seem to think that COVID-19 is no big deal, that our restrictions are a complete over-reaction and that they should be allowed to visit regardless.
I just want to reinforce that the risks around COVID-19 are unprecedented in living memory and that all around the country extraordinary measures are being introduced by government to try and slow the spread of the disease in order that our health system does not become overwhelmed. It needs everyone to work together with patience and understanding as measures are introduced which may be inconvenient.
· We are temporarily suspending all activities which are run by external entertainers. Our own activities team will run regular smaller events in each of the individual areas.
· Those residents who are able to go for a walk outside are being encouraged to do so, but are being asked to remain within our grounds.
· All of the communal areas within the wider village i.e. the Terraces and Irwin Miller centre are closed until further notice.
· There are various essential contractors working around St Andrew’s at present. These are all being screened on a daily basis and temperature checked.
We are limiting all contract work at present around the site to non-clinical areas within the main care centres. In addition, for those contractors working in the wider independent village, we will be restricting them from entering residents’ homes unless it is for an emergency repair. All non-essential contract work will be closed down.
Additional information for families of Independent Living Residents
· We have put in place arrangements for staff members to phone every single independent resident once a day to check on how they are and if there is anything that they need assistance with.
· The kitchen team at the Terraces are batch cooking a limited menu option which can be frozen and delivered to any residents around the village for reheating should they need it.
Information on menu choices and how to order etc. have already been delivered to each individual resident. There will be a cost for this service, but we are simply looking to price meals on a cost recovery basis and the meal service will all be charged directly to resident’s monthly accounts.
· A number of residents have expressed concern about attempting to go to the supermarket for provisions. They are also reporting that the online options for Countdown and New World are under immense pressure at present and deliveries need to be booked roughly a week in advance.
Where possible, we ask that residents contact their families to help organise their shopping for them and simply drop it off to their homes.
However, if residents do not have family members living locally and need assistance, then we can organise purchases of staple food items via our Bidfood and Gilmour trade accounts and deliver those to residents ourselves.
If we do need to assist residents with grocery purchases, we can only purchase what is available via our trade accounts, and will not necessarily be able to accommodate particular ‘brand’ requests.
The situation is changing rapidly by the day, and I recommend that you all keep abreast of the latest national updates which are released at around 1pm each days across the various news media.
Please be assured that we will continue to support all of our residents in anyway that we can, and we ask for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com should you have any questions.
St Andrew’s Village Executive Team
UPDATE: 21 March 2020
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation at Midday today to update us all on the steps that are being taken to address the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus.Today is the first day that there is an indication of community transmission as two of the new cases have no obvious links to anyone travelling from overseas.
During her speech, the Prime Minister made the following key points.
• Four-stage alert system for Covid-19 announced
• New Zealand moved up to Covid-19 alert level 2 – reduce contact
• New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus.
• Workplaces to implement plans to reduce person-to-person contact, including work from home where possible
• Limit all non-essential domestic travel
Obviously, these new recommendations will have a major impact on all residents and staff working at St Andrew’s Village. The key point being the recommendation for all people aged over 70 to remain at home as much as possible and reduce contact with others.
In considering how to react to this recommendation, and assuming that all independent residents will attempt to voluntarily self-isolate as far as reasonably practical, St Andrew’s are now taking the following steps.
· The Communal areas within both the Terraces and Irwin Miller Centre will be closed until further notice.
· From Monday 23 March, St Andrew’s will be providing an option of fresh and frozen meals that can be ordered by residents via the Concierge team.
· This delivery service will run 7 days a week in order to support those residents who need it for as long as is necessary.
· St Andrew’s are also moving towards staff working from home in the future where it is practical to do so. Information will be circulated to all residents once that it finalised.
· As a reminder, we ask that all non–essential visitors please refrain from visiting any residents at St Andrew’s Village for the foreseeable future. That includes both residents in care as well as our independent living residents.
· Residents are advised to phone the Village Team if they have anything they are unsure of or concerned about.
These are challenging and uncertain times ahead, and St Andrew’s will be doing everything we can to support both our residents and staff.
We thank you in advance for your co-operation.
St Andrew’s Village Executive Team
Update: 20 March 2020
Following the decision last night by the government to close our borders to all foreign visitors, as well as the decision to ban indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, St Andrew’s will be introducing the following changes to our Independent Living operations as from today.
Temporary suspension of all events/activities
We are temporarily suspending all events, activities and meetings with independent residents, in both the Terraces and Irwin Miller Centre. Unfortunately, this will also include our ANZAC services.
We will be discussing the situation with the residents’ social committee early next week, to see if we can safely offer a limited program of activities to residents and ensure the correct protocols of social distancing together with appropriate screening for any external instructors etc.
We will continue to run our café area from Monday to Friday only – 9am to 3pm.
However, the seating capacity has been reduced at each table in order to accommodate the recommended social distancing requirements and the tables have been spread out further into the room.
St Andrew’s staff will be reminding everyone of the protocols as well as screening residents with a digital temperature check.
For now, we ask that only residents of St Andrew’s use the Terraces café and we will be temporarily restricting visitors and staff.
Both of our kitchens will now start preparing additional food to freeze, so that we can deliver frozen meals to those residents who need them.
For those residents who need assistance with food shopping, they have been advised to contact the Village team.
Essential visitors only
We would ask that you please only visit St Andrew’s if it is absolutely necessary. Look at alternate methods of communication, e.g. phone, text, video chat etc. for non-urgent items.
Private carers etc.
All residents have been advised to check whether any private carers that come into their homes home have returned from overseas within the last 14 days (or have been in direct contact with anyone else who has) and that they are otherwise feeling well.
All residents have been further advised to contact the agency who supplies their private carer to double check what screening processes they have put in place for their own employees.
This is obviously a rapidly evolving situation, and we will post further updates and information as it becomes necessary.
St Andrew’s Village Executive Team
UPDATE: 18 March 2020
The situation regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus has become increasingly fluid over the past few days with details of more confirmed cases in New Zealand being released.
The government now requires all overseas visitors to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival into NZ, as well as curtailing all overseas cruise ships until 30 June and recommending that there are no large gatherings in excess of 500 people. This has had many knock on impacts on restaurants, concerts and sporting events etc., and there is a range of online advice from the Ministry of Health which is regularly circulated to Aged Care and Retirement Village Operators.
Therefore, St Andrew’s are taking the following precautionary steps in order to protect our vulnerable residents:
· As from Thursday 19 March, we will be screening all visitors into the care centre to ascertain whether they have likely had any exposure to the virus from overseas and also taking their temperature before they will be allowed to enter.
· Visiting times in the main care centre plus Iona, Balmoral, Braemar and Stirling lodges will be restricted to the following times:
9am to 11am
2pm to 6pm
· We are asking all visitors into the care facility and Lodges to maintain a distance of at least 1m from others.
· We are ensuring that all volunteers, GPs and other contractors will follow the same screening procedures.
· All staff will be temperature checked daily and stood down from work if necessary.
· We are making arrangements for some critical staff to work from home should it become necessary to do so.
· Business travel restrictions are now in place for all staff.
· Usual health and safety precautions are being reinforced to all staff.
· We are increasing the cleaning schedules throughout all of our common areas, and in particular wiping down handles and other hard surfaces with a solution of Sodium Hypochlorite.
· We are adding to our outbreak management stock of medications and other supplies.
· We are increasing our stock of emergency food.
· We are deliberately retaining a number of empty beds within the care facility should we need to place someone in isolation.
· We are currently reviewing our planned schedule of events and activities. Unfortunately, there will have to be some cancellations of the larger planned events and we will advise residents of these separately.
· We are asking visitors to the main care centre and Lodges not to take any resident off site and into the community, but to simply conduct any visits here.
· We are reminding people that the most effective way to kill any virus and prevent infection is by regular and thorough handwashing.
·Traditional handshake or Hongi greetings should be avoided for now.
Specific advice for independent living residents
· We are advising our independent residents to contact their regular visitors and ask them to only visit if necessary.
· All independent residents have been instructed not to allow anyone to visit who has returned from overseas (or had contact with anyone that has returned) within the last 14 days and we are recommending they check with any private carers or occasional visitors that they may not be completely familiar with.
· We recommend that independent residents discuss with their families alternate contact options such as Skype, Zoom, Facetime or other video chats so that those are already in place should it become absolutely necessary to restrict all visitors at some point in the future.
· Independent residents are advised to consider alternate options for grocery and other shopping. A number of the large supermarket chains allow online shopping where products are delivered directly to your door.
· If residents need assistance with that, they can contact the Village Team at St Andrew’s who will be happy to assist.
· We are also changing the visiting criteria to our new Terraces building as that is the area where residents, staff and visitors choose to congregate and relax during the day.
We thank you in advance for your co-operation at these new measures and we will be issuing updates each week.
For more information and updates from the Ministry of Health please use the links provided below regarding COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
World Health Organisation website: Click here
New Zealand Ministry of Health website: Click here
St Andrew’s Village Executive Team