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Back COVID-19 Update 16 April 2020

16 April 2020

Dear Resident Families and Friends,

We appreciate the increased anxiety you may be feeling about Aged Residential Care, with the sad news coming through about outbreaks in Care Homes over the past few days. At UCG we continue to do everything we can to remain Covid19 free, and protect the bubbles in our homes.

We have continued to embrace the Ministry of Health’s directives, including having the District Health Boards take a virtual look inside each of our sites to verify we are meeting or exceeding appropriate requirements. We will be doing everything possible to help them help us as a nation keep each other safe.

We can also reassure you that our staff are well informed of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment); what to wear, when and how. This includes how to put it on, take it off and dispose of it following best practice. In support of this, UCG have good levels of PPE on hand and in stock, backed up by the provisions from the DHB.

Today the Prime Minister announced some of the definition of Alert Level 3. While she was very clear that we have not made the move to Level 3 yet, it confirms the work we have started to avoid any unforeseen perforations of our bubbles when we do make the move. Whilst in Lockdown for at least another week we continue to increase our Contact Tracing detail requirements and adjusting some rostering to create smaller bubbles inside our overall Facility bubbles. This minimises any infection transfer if there was to be a positive test result. When we know more of what the detail of Alert Level 3 looks like for visiting and access, we will immediately let you know.
The staff are doing an amazing job. Most are juggling the demands of home life lockdown with keeping residents informed and active and doing it very well. They continue to share ideas amongst our nationwide teams for innovative ways to keep our resident’s spirits high. Where possible, we are using Skype and fostering Private Facility Groups on Facebook to assist in keeping you in touch. Please contact your Facility Manager if you would like to join or know more.

Thank you! I know I say this every letter, but I cannot thank you enough for the encouragement and kindness to our staff. We know it is a privilege to care for our older New Zealanders at a time such as this, and any emails or notes of affection really help keep the warmth spreading and helping us all win the war against COVID-19.

Jill Darcey