Covid-19 Update 14 Apr

14/04/2020  

 

Dear All

Te Hopai: Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Update #7

We hope that you all managed to have a happy Easter. We know that it may have been hard for you not to have been able to see your family and/or friends over this time but rest assured we have worked hard to make sure there was plenty of love (and hot cross buns and chocolate) doing the rounds here.

The Skype communications between residents and their families and friends are still going well. Unsurprisingly, it has been particularly busy over the Easter weekend and the administration and recreation staff have been working hard to keep families connected. Again, we remind you that if you have not taken up this opportunity and want to, you can email Delanie on delanie@tehopai.co.nz during office hours Monday-Friday to make an appointment. You will need to include your email and Skype name. We are offering resident access daily between 10am to 4pm.

On a more serious note, you will all have become aware now of the Covid-19 clusters in aged-care facilities in Christchurch, Waikato, and most recently in Auckland. You may also be aware that the Director General of Health, Dr Bloomfield, has directed the DHBs to actively engage with the aged-care sector to make sure that policies and procedures are in place and that PPE (personal protective equipment) is available. They, and we, are aware of the vulnerability of the people in our care and, because of this, please be reassured that our planning is not static, and we are reviewing our practices and preparedness on a daily basis. We continue to be open to information coming from the MoH, DHB, and our own care association (New Zealand Aged Care Association). We welcome engagement with the DHB as we all work together to keep this virus from residents and, while we are confident that we have plans in place (and enough in the way of supplies), it is always useful to have an outside assessment or our 'readiness'.

We are continuing to educate/train staff on the use of PPE. It isn't used often in the facility and for this reason we are working hard to make sure the use of it is 'hardwired' into the practice of our staff. The experience of the Burwood Hospital transmission reminds us that we need to keep on checking, training, and reminding our staff how and when to use PPE so that, should the time come when they need to use it in earnest, they will be prepared.

We acknowledge that these continue to be difficult times and keep in our minds the risk still present for our vulnerable residents. We are aware as a care team that we all have a responsibility to help prevent Covid-19 in this facility if we can. Because our 'work bubble 'is quite large, we have been actively monitoring residents who become sick and staff who call in sick. In all instances when staff have called in sick, I have contacted them and, if they have symptoms that could have a relationship with Covid-19 (e.g. not a sprained ankle) and haven't seen their own doctor, I have referred then to our facility doctor so that an assessment can be made and where necessary, swabs taken. To date all swabs taken from residents and staff have come back negative.

Our staff continue to do their very best to keep your loved ones safe and again, we thank you for respecting this and staying away from the facility at this time.

Pakize Sari

General Manager