Reminder of Alert Level Guidelines

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced last night that due to new community cases Auckland would be moving to Alert Level 3 with the rest of the country moving to Alert Level 2 from midnight, Sunday February 14 for at least 72 hours.

It is important to remind yourself of the guidelines for operation under each Alert Level, especially when caring for our most vulnerable.

Guidance at Alert Level 3 for Aged Care Providers

Respite in aged care

  • Planned respite services will be suspended, but urgent respite care may be provided.

Home and Community Support Services

  • Essential personal care services, such as toileting, washing and feeding, will continue to be provided as usual.
  • Home management (e.g. house cleaning) may be available depending on individual circumstances (where not providing this service would place a client at risk), Alert Level 3 precautions can be followed, and where required to maintain client safely at home.

Equipment and Modification services

  • Equipment and modification services are essential. Under Alert Level 3, essential equipment can be provided that can be delivered to a person's home and safely set up by the people in that home.
  • Providing more complex equipment will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Urgent housing modifications that can be done safely can go ahead.
  • Vehicle modification requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Services not seen as essential

  • Day services and programmes are suspended at Alert Level 3. People are encouraged to consider alternative ways to connecting, for example virtual supports.
  • Health promotion activities for older people continue to be provided on a different non-contact basis, e.g. by phone.

Alert Level 3 guidance for aged residential care facilities

Guidance at Alert Level 2 for Aged care providers

At Alert Level 2 the following services are available:

  • Planned and urgent respite care within aged residential care. A COVID-19 risk assessment must be undertaken before admission of residents, including respite clients.
  • Home and community support services, including personal cares (eg, showering and feeding), and home help (eg, cleaning). Infection prevention and control measures must be adhered to,
  • All equipment, housing and vehicle modifications can still go ahead if they can be done so safely (physical distancing of 1 metre, good hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette, good record-keeping to support contact tracing).
  • Hearing and vision services (including NZ Sign Language interpreters) and rehabilitation therapies is available if done safely.
  • Day programmes, health promotion activities and other community supports if done safely and following limits and rules for the gathering of people. Providers are still encouraged to provide services virtually, or in different ways if possible. Aged residential care day programmes remain closed. Transport to day services (via providers) will need to adhere to COVID-19 risk screening and public health measures.

Restrictions on ARC facilities

ARC facilities can operate at Alert Level 2 unless advised otherwise by the local Medical Officer of Health. Alert Level 2 allows greater scope for whânau and family visits, and the lifting of restrictions of staff movements across and within facilities. 

Where ARC staff are employed across multiple sites/roles, there must be plans in place where staff follow basic hygiene measures, PPE guidance and standard IPC precautions to reduce the risk of transmissions between settings.

Alert Level 2 guidance for aged residential care facilities