Rest-homes pitched into lockdown

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Oamaru aged care facilities have gone into full lockdown to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading.

Rest homes across the country have closed their doors to everyone other than staff and essential deliveries, outside of exceptional circumstances such as palliative or end of life care, in Alert Level 2.

Observatory Village Lifecare general manager Rosie Dwyer said the Oamaru aged-care facility had been working on plans for all alert levels since Covid-19 reached New Zealand earlier this year.

“Even though it has been a couple on months since we came out of Level 2, since then, we haven’t stopped working on fine-tuning our plans and making sure we are fully prepared for this.

“It hasn’t been difficult activating our plans because we are a lot better prepared [than the first lockdown].”

The policy would be reviewed at midnight tonight, but would likely carry over until at least Monday, Mrs Dwyer said.

“It’s a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of our residents.

“Our mission is to keep Covid-19 out of our facility. It always has been and it still is.”

Observatory Village residents were able to move around the facility, but day outings had been cancelled.

“They fully understand the need for it.

“A lot of them have been through such a lot in their lives . . . this is another challenge and they know they are safe here.”

Families of residents had been notified and were understanding of the measures, she said.

“I have no negative feedback about lockdown.”