Updated COVID-19 guidance for disability services

It’s with a great sense of relief that we see the end of the Government’s COVID-19 traffic light system.

There is certainly a sense of normality returning and we can’t wait for this to happen. It’s great to see that case numbers are dropping for the general population around New Zealand, however we know in services that the job is not done yet and we still need to be vigilant, especially where the people we support are vulnerable.

In our services we still have to follow the latest guidance from Government, which requires staff and visitors to wear masks in services.

We’re pleased to welcome back visitors to our homes and day services without any restrictions or sign-in measures. However, if you’re a positive case or unwell, please stay at home. We are providing medical masks and hand sanitiser at the entrance of every home and day service.

We have a process for testing and plans in place in the event of an outbreak.

There are changes to the vaccination mandate, which means that from 26 September, there is no longer a rule for our staff to be vaccinated.

As you will have seen, the country is facing significant workforce shortage, as are we, and we are still facing critical staffing pressures because of:

·        the impact of COVID-19

·        general unwellness

·        staff loss due to the previous mandatory vaccinations

·        difficulties in recruitment (immigration and low unemployment).

The teams are working really hard to manage the impact of this through intensive recruitment strategies. If you are able to, help by sharing this message with your networks - this would be appreciated.

We’re working hard together as we embark on a new phase of the pandemic.

Ngā mihi,

Joan Cowan
Chief Operating Officer

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