Disability Support Services at Alert Level 2

Information and guidelines on the rules disability support services need to follow at Alert Level 2.

All services (disability and non-disability services) will need to follow the Alert Level 2 rules. 

This means that services will need to carefully and regularly clean surfaces that are touched often and keep detailed records of who uses the facilities and when for contact tracing. Everyone who uses the service must practice good hand hygiene, cough or sneeze into their elbow or tissue that is put in a bin and follow physical distancing. 

In disability facilities, everyone should stay 1-metre apart where possible. 

Facility staff should take extra care for people who are at high risk of becoming very unwell from COVID-19.

On this page:


Day services 

Day services can now open in a limited way following Alert Level 2 safety rules. They will need to follow physical distancing rules (1-metre apart), good hygiene measures and keep a record of people working at or attending the service for contact tracing. 

Some of the day services might decide to allow some people to attend in the morning and others in the afternoon, or on alternate days. Your day service needs to work out how they can operate safely. Your day service will contact you to let you know when and how they are going to open safely. 

If you always share transport with the same people to get to your day service, you do not need to keep 1-metre apart in your taxi or van. The taxi or van company will need to follow good cleaning and hygiene practices and keep a good record of who has been in the vehicle for contact tracing. 

You will still need to stay at home if you are sick.

You should let your day service know if you do not want to attend. Your day service should continue to support you in different ways such as by video chat. Your day service will contact you to tell you what is going to happen. 

Respite facilities 

Facility-based respite centres are now open in a limited way following Alert Level 2 safety rules. This includes following physical distancing (1-metre apart) where possible, have good hygiene measures and keep a record for contact tracing. 

Respite services will need to work out how they can operate safely. It is also important that they can give those families and whānau a break who need it most, some of whom might be in the ‘at-risk’ group. 

You should contact your NASC for more information on what is available in your area.

Community residential services and residential services provided under the High and Complex Framework

Community residential services continue to operate under all alert levels. Under Alert Level 2, residential providers must follow the Alert Level 2 safety rules. 

You do not need to physically distance from the people that you live with or support workers who have been part of your living arrangement (part of your bubble) during the different levels. 

Support workers and residential providers should:

  • follow guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE), have good hand hygiene, cough or sneeze into their elbow or a tissue, and not come to work if they are sick or have been around someone who is sick
  • where possible not provide care to lots of different people
  • keep a record of the people they are in contact with, for contact tracing purposes.

Under Alert Level 2, you can visit with your family members and friends. When people come to visit you in your residential home, they must follow good hand hygiene, and cough/sneeze etiquette and keep 1-metre apart from you if they are not family members or close friends. Your residential provider will let you know how they plan to manage visits safely. You should call or text your family member’s residential home first to let them know that you plan to visit so they can manage it safely. Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms, have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, or who are sick, must not visit.

You should decide who should visit you in your residential home, however, if there are other people who live in the home who are at high risk of becoming very unwell from COVID-19, you, your family and providers should all agree who can visit and how people can stay safe. 

You should also be supported to access activities, in a safe way, such as going to your favourite café (i.e. maintain 1-metre distance from other people, good hygiene, limits on the numbers of people gathering).

People who employ their own support workers (individualised funding, personal budgets) 

At Alert Level 2, you can continue to use your funding to buy things that you couldn’t before COVID-19. For example, you can pay for grocery delivery rather than pay a care or support worker to help you with shopping. These purchases must be within your allocation, and your budget needs to last for your whole allocation.

At Alert Level 2, you can also continue to employ family and whānau members who live with you, to support you, if your usual support worker is not available. If you decide to do this, you should talk to your IF host or coach, your connector or kaitūhono. Find more information about employing your own support workers:

You can apply to the Ministry of Social Development for funding if a support worker is unable to return to work because they:

  • could be sick with COVID-19 
  • have had close contact with someone with COVID-19
  • are at high risk of becoming very unwell from COVID-19.

This funding is called COVID-19 Leave Support. You can apply for this funding here: COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme.

You should agree with your support worker on whether you want to keep any physical distance between you. If you are at high risk of becoming very unwell from COVID-19 you should talk to your support worker about working safely with you. See the latest guidance about when you should use PPE - Personal protective equipment use in health care.

Home and community support services

Home-based personal care services such as support with toileting, washing, feeding should be provided under Alert Level 2. Household management such as cleaning can also be provided under Alert Level 2. 

Support workers who provide you with personal cares should:

  • follow guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE), have good hand hygiene, cough or sneeze into their elbow or a tissue, and not come to work if they are sick or have been around someone who is sick
  • where possible not provide care to lots of different people
  • keep 1-metre apart from you where possible
  • keep a record of the people they are in contact with, for contact tracing purposes.

Support workers who provide you with household management, such as cleaning, should:

  • keep 1-metre apart from you where possible
  • have good hand hygiene, cough or sneeze into their elbow or a tissue, and not come to work if they are sick or have been around someone who is sick
  • keep a record of the people they are in contact with, for contact tracing purposes.

You should agree with the people you live with and your provider who should visit and how their health will be protected.

Choice in community living and supported living 

If you receive support in your home, including personal cares or household management services such as cleaning, you should follow the rules above for ‘home and community support services’.

If you receive support in a residential group home, you should follow the rules above for ‘Community residential services and residential services provided under the High and Complex Framework’.

If you receive support to access activities, such as, going to your favourite café, or joining a club, your support worker should help you to access this in a safe way (i.e. maintain 1-metre distance from other people, good hygiene, limits of the numbers of people gathering). If it is not possible to do this safely, your support worker should help you to do things in a different way such as by phone or virtually. 

Other services that are available (equipment, hearing and vision, behaviour support services, Disability and Information Advisory Services)

All equipment, housing and vehicle modifications can now go ahead if services can be done safely. 

Hearing and vision services (including NZ Sign Language interpreters), rehabilitation therapies and child development services can also return to work if they can do so safely.

Behaviour support services can now provide at-home visits and residential provider visits, if they can do so safely. They will also continue to provide phone support from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday on 0800 000 421. Read more information: Getting disability support.

Disability and Information Advisory Services should now also be available if services can be done safely. 

NASC appointments 

Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) services will continue to work over the phone or virtually where possible. You may have a NASC appointment in person where it can be done so safely. Your NASC will let you know how they will contact you.
 

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