We’re pleased to let you know that we’re making it easier for visitors to our residential services, and for the people we support going home, under the new traffic light system.
The Protection Framework is the ‘traffic light’ system we are using now to minimise the risk of COVID-19. We all need to follow the Government’s traffic light system, and at IHC we have some extra guidance to help keep people safe.
The Board Chairs of the IHC, IDEA Services and Accessible Properties will also be updating members, families and individuals soon.
Please visit Accessible Properties website for information relating to our property and tenancy services.
Throughout the COVID-19 period, we have often received guidance from the Ministry of Health far too late. That means we have had to issue our own and make changes if we need to once we have compared the two.
We know it is confusing to have to change this, but we must have guidance in place and we review to make sure we have the right procedures in place to minimise risk.
So, what are the changes?
We have been able to change the rules to make it easier for people in our residential services to have visitors and for people in our services to be able to go home. We had hoped to be able to make such changes before Christmas and we are glad to be able to put them in place now.
Please see our guidance below and speak to your local Area Manager if you have any questions.
IHC Group Chief Executive
Under all traffic light levels
- All family and friends must be fully vaccinated and show their My Vaccine Pass or have had a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 to 72 hours prior to their visit to enter any home or day service.
- All other visitors, staff, contractors and volunteers must be fully vaccinated and show their My Vaccine Pass to enter an office, home, day service or IHC Op Shop. Please see Accessible Properties for information for tenants.
- We will continue to use protective equipment such as masks in line with our guidelines and keep bubbles small where there may be risk.
- When available, Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) will be an additional protection measure that will be used as surveillance testing.
- Our guidelines align with those issued by the Ministry of Health.
- Visitors to services: If you’d like to visit your family member and they’re fully vaccinated, we welcome you. If they’re not fully vaccinated, please stick to social distancing.
- Community outings: These can go ahead if the person we support is fully vaccinated, with mask-wearing and social distancing, if possible. If they’re not vaccinated, they can still go out in the community after a risk assessment has been done; they can catch up with friends with one other vaccinated house – with a maximum of 15 people, including staff.
- Home visits for people we support: If a person we support is vaccinated, home visits can go ahead. If not, we need to complete a risk assessment first in line with Government advice.
- Visitors to services: If you are visiting a person who is fully vaccinated, we welcome visits with social distancing. If the person is not vaccinated, we will try to arrange outdoor visits and social distancing. Only one family/whānau can visit a house at a time.
- Community outings: Community outings can continue once risk assessments have been completed and we’ll encourage social distancing and mask wearing wherever possible. If people are vaccinated they can socialise with one other household, otherwise they will stay in their own household bubble.
- Home visits for people we support: People we support can visit family/whānau with additional infection prevention control and public health measures. We’ll talk this through with you and will complete a COVID-19 home visit risk assessment. Please speak to your Area Manager.
- Visitors to services: If the person we support is vaccinated we welcome visitors and will try to ensure visits are outside and with social distancing. We’ll keep visitors to one family at a time. If a person is not vaccinated we’ll keep visits short (less than two hours) and small (two visitors from the same family/whānau at one time).
- Community outings: These will still go ahead but only once we have completed a risk assessment and can meet the Government’s vaccination certificate requirements. Only people from the same household bubble will go on outings together and we will encourage mask wearing and social distancing.
- Home visits for people we support: As per the Government's guidance, people we support can visit family/whānau with additional infection prevention control and public health measures. We’ll talk this through with you and will complete a COVID-19 home visit risk assessment. Please speak to your Area Manager.
- Visits: You cannot visit your family member during a lockdown and they can’t visit you. Please use technology such as WhatsApp or Zoom to connect with your family member. Compassionate visits may occur with a risk assessment. Please speak to the local Area Manager to arrange and note that a Regional Manager needs to grant approval.
- Community outings: There are no community outings during a lockdown but we will encourage the use of technology so people stay connected and can be involved in online activities.