April 14, 2020
Extra effort needed to keep COVID-19 from rest homes
District health boards have been asked to systematically assess the readiness of aged residential care providers to deal with potential COVID-19 infections.
The request from Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield came after three deaths associated with the Rosewood care home in Christchurch.
Twenty residents from the home’s dementia unit were moved to Burwood Hospital last week because of the high level of care they need.
There are now 33 COVID-19 cases in the Rosewood cluster, including 17 confirmed and 16 probable cases.
Thirteen of the 33 cases are residents and 18 are staff, with another 2 connected through close contact or family transmission.
Health Ministry advice for rest homes is that staff who are unwell, even with mild symptoms, do not come to work.
Staff who are close contacts of confirmed or probable cases should also not be at work.
All residents with suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19 infection should be isolated immediately.
Just 19 new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday, made up of 15 new confirmed cases and four new probable cases.
The new combined total of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand is 1349.
Dr Bloomfield says there are now 15 clusters with 10 or more cases, including an aged residential care facility in Auckland.
So far 546 reported cases of COVID-19 infection have recovered.
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