COVID-19: Aged care providers

Information and guidance on COVID-19 for aged care providers at all Alert Levels.

Page last updated: 7 September 2021

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Health workers can download the Āwhina app to stay up-to-date on the latest information relevant to COVID-19 and the health and disability sector.

Guidance at all Alert Levels

New Zealand Pandemic Response Policy for Aged Residential Care

The New Zealand Pandemic Response Policy for Aged Residential Care should underpin all pandemic planning, including COVID-19, in aged residential care.

COVID-19 Outbreak Response Toolkit for Aged Residential Care

The Ministry partnered with the sector to develop the COVID-19 Outbreak Response Toolkit for Aged Residential Care. The Toolkit outlines the practical steps the responsible person within an aged residential care facility should follow in relation to preparing, responding to, and reviewing an outbreak of COVID-19. It includes relevant links to the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19 on the Ministry’s website. There are also downloadable resources and templates for use to support aged residential care facilities respond to an outbreak of COVID-19. 

See the COVID-19 Outbreak Response Toolkit for Aged Residential Care.

PPE use in health care

PPE should be used correctly and safely in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidance for health and disability care settings.

Following the risk assessment questions when a person’s COVID-19 status is unknown will help determine the type of PPE to use, if any. Risk assessments include checking if visitors/attendees/staff are or have been unwell, or if they have recently been in contact with someone who has been unwell.

The Ministry of Health is continually reviewing advice and guidance on the use of PPE. Read more about the risk assessment questions, the latest advice on PPE and its use in different health care settings, and frequently asked questions about PPE and COVID-19. 

At risk staff

For Alert Levels 2, 3 and 4: Workforce Risk Assessment and Guidance tools should be used to identify staff vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, to assess and mitigate their risks, including through workplace restrictions and modifications. 

At risk staff can work based on the persons self-assessment, agreement with their manager and efforts to limit undue exposure to COVID-19. Where possible at-risk workers should work virtually or follow all Worksafe and Ministry of Health guidelines on delivery of safe services.

Guidance and assessment tools being used by DHBs

Screening form for a person to enter an aged residential care facility

This form must be completed a maximum of 48 hours before proposed transfer or admission to an Aged Residential Care (ARC) facility.

Visiting Aged Residential Care facilities

interNASC transfers – Aged Residential Care

Advice for aged care providers supporting residents with dementia

Independent review into clusters of COVID-19 in aged residential care

Following the classification of five clusters of COVID 19 in ARC facilities, the Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, commissioned this review to quickly learn what was effective and what needs to be improved in order to avoid or better manage any similar events in the future. Read the full report and recommendations.

The report made 19 recommendations, which were turned into an action plan with seven workstreams. These workstreams have been addressed and the action plan is now considered fulfilled. Read the action plan.

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