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Production line . . . Observatory Village residents (clockwise from left) Margaret Rapson, Molly Kilgour, Gwen Francis, Barbara Paton (partly obscured), Marilyn Ferguson (staff), Stella Julius, Zoe Orme (staff) and Margaret Turnbull make face masks. PHOTO: ROSIE DWYER

Observatory Village residents and staff are coping well with the “new normal”, general manager Rosie Dwyer says.

When the country moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 2 again last month, all age-care facilities went back into full lockdown, but restrictions have since eased slightly.

Visitor numbers at Observatory Village in Oamaru are restricted and people are only able to visit between 1pm and 4pm. Visitors must complete screening questions, have their temperature taken and sanitise their hands.

“It’s just about becoming our new normal, so we might as well get used to it,” Mrs Dwyer said.

“People are pretty stoic. They know that we need to get on with it and do the best by our residents and staff.

“It’s really just trying to manage the risk of someone coming in that may have been in contact with someone with Covid that they don’t know about.”

Families had been understanding of the precautionary measures, as the residents were a very vulnerable group of people, she said.

Staff are required to wear masks when they are working within 1m of a resident.

Personal protective equipment was in good supply, although suppliers had significantly increased the cost of masks, gowns and gloves, Mrs Dwyer said.

A team of staff and residents had been making masks than 80 were made during the first lockdown – and production had restarted again this week, she said.

“It has been a great activity to do during the period of time when no visitors were allowed.

“We have had some difficulty purchasing enough elastic. Luckily we had someone donate a bag of pink knicker elastic, so we are all set to get sewing again.”