12 Aug 2020

All rest homes going into level 4 lockdown for three days

11:47 am on 12 August 2020

Rest homes are going into full lockdown until midnight on Friday, effectively operating at level 4.

Close up medical doctor holding elderly female's trembling hands

Photo: 123RF

Aged Care Association chief executive Simon Wallace told Nine to Noon no visits from family would be allowed.

"We have decided that we will go into full lockdown. So every rest home in New Zealand will go into full lockdown immediately, we will be in that situation until midnight on Friday and then the situation will be reassessed at that point," he told Nine to Noon.

Full lockdown meant rest homes would be operating under level 4 restrictions, he said.

"It means there will be no visits, no family visits to their loved ones in rest homes and all the guidance and all the precautions that applied when we were at level 4 will apply for the next three days."

He said rest homes were not taking any chances.

"We have seen what has happened in Melbourne where aged care has been particularly affected, more than 100 rest homes in Melbourne have had Covid-19 outbreaks and they didn't move quickly enough in Melbourne, we're moving quickly here and we can not afford to take any risks at all."

The measure was precautionary and would be reassessed on Friday, he said.

"We are working very closely with the Public Health Units at the Ministry of Health and we've advised them this morning this is what were doing, we've advised the Minister of Health that that is what we are doing - that decision has been supported."

Tests for Covid-19 in two aged care facilities in Canterbury at Brookhaven retirement village in Woolston and Village Palms home in Shirley have come back negative, he said.

"I have had verbal conformation from the Ministry of Health that the testing of the residents at the two facilities in Christchurch has come back negative."

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