COVID-19: Aged care providers

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

Page last updated: 1 April 2021

Alert Levels update

  • From midday Friday 12 March, all of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1.
  • You are legally required to wear a face mask or covering on all public transport and flights throughout New Zealand.
  • For more information about Alert Levels, see the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

Anyone who has cold or flu symptoms, including muscle aches and fatigue, should get a test and stay home until you have a negative test result. Find your local testing facility on the Healthpoint website.

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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

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. 

Managing staff and residents with COVID-19 infection

This guidance is to know how to manage staff and residents with potential COVID-19 infection in aged residential care facilities. It includes information to help staff know what to do if they feel unwell to protect residents in care from COVID-19.

It also has clear guidance to follow if COVID-19 infection is suspected, probable or confirmed in a resident. It is important to act quickly to isolate them and avoid the risk of spread to other residents.

District health boards (DHBs) are expected to work closely with facilities to ensure adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Visiting Aged Residential Care facilities

interNASC transfers – Aged Residential Care

Advice for aged care providers supporting residents with dementia

Preventing and controlling COVID-19 outbreaks

This guidance and supporting resources are provided by the Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand.

The guidance has information on preventing and controlling COVID-19 outbreaks in aged residential care. There is also practical assistance with checklists, signs and templates for aged residential care facilities to help you manage the facility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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