Review of COVID clusters in NZ ARC released

By NZDF. Published on 23/6/2020

The Ministry of Health has published the Independent Review of COVID-19 Clusters in Aged Residential Care Facilities report.

The report was commissioned by the Director-General of Health in April to learn from clusters of COVID-19 in Aged Care facilities so New Zealand would be better placed to manage any further occurrences.

The report includes a number of recommendations for improvements which the Ministry will be seeking feedback from the sector on. Following the feedback on the recommendations the approach, priorities and agreed actions can be confirmed.

Some of the findings include:

  • Few facilities had fully comprehended the impact a probable case would have on their facility, or the impact of one member of staff becoming symptomatic with COVID‑19 (and test positive). The most notable adverse impact of a staff member’s positive test was the stand down of a high proportion of the ARC facility’s staff, and the limited prospects of back-filling these.
  • Amongst the difficulties reported, some ARC management and staff conveyed an increased level of camaraderie and pride at work.
  • ARC providers and staff interviewed reported they had up-to-date IPC documentation and procedures that they had adapted for the COVID 19 pandemic
  • Virtual visits using platforms such as Zoom and WhatsApp were commonplace.


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