Aged Residential Care guidance for acute respiratory infections (including COVID-19 and influenza)

This document provides guidance for aged residential care (ARC) providers to manage acute respiratory infections (ARI), which includes COVID-19 and influenza). 

Guidance for testing and isolation in Aged Residential Care (ARC) facilities

This document is to provide guidance for testing and isolation in aged residential care (ARC) facilities.  It includes information for staff, residents and visitors.

PPE use in health care

PPE should be used correctly and safely in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidance for health and disability care settings.

Undertake a risk assessment to consider the risk of the patient/client or resident having an acute respiratory infection

Read more the latest advice on the use of PPE in different health care settings, including guidance on the safe use or PPE.

Infection prevention and control recommendations for health and disability care workers

PPE should be used correctly and safely in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidance for health and disability care settings.

Undertake a risk assessment to consider the risk of the patient/client or resident having an acute respiratory infection

Read more the latest advice on the use of PPE in different health care settings, including guidance on the safe use or PPE.

Infection prevention and control recommendations for health and disability care workers

COVID-19 vaccination

Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccination is by far and away the best thing we can do to protect ourselves and other people as it helps keep immunity high. 

Getting a COVID-19 booster – including additional boosters for those that are eligible – provides further significant protection against COVID-19 infection, compared to the primary course alone. 

Having COVID-19 does not provide the same level of immunity as getting vaccinated. We also know that the protection from the primary course of the vaccine decreases over time.

As COVID-19 vaccination is strongly recommended some employers may still require workers to be vaccinated due to their responsibilities under health and safety legislation.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Six Principles for Safe Visiting and Social Activities in Aged Residential Care

These Six Principles for Safe Visiting and Social Activities in Aged Residential Care support ARC providers in the development of policies and procedures that enable safe visiting, social activities and outings in the context of viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 Outbreak Response Toolkit for Aged Residential Care

The Ministry partnered with the sector to develop the COVID-19 Outbreak Response Toolkit for Aged Residential Care. The Toolkit outlines the practical steps the responsible person within an aged residential care facility should follow in relation to preparing, responding to, and reviewing an outbreak of COVID-19. It includes relevant links to the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19 on the Ministry’s website. There are also downloadable resources and templates for use to support aged residential care facilities respond to an outbreak of COVID-19. 

See the COVID-19 Outbreak Response Toolkit for Aged Residential Care.

New Zealand Pandemic Response Policy for Aged Residential Care

The New Zealand Pandemic Response Policy for Aged Residential Care should underpin all pandemic planning, including COVID-19, in aged residential care.

Independent review into clusters of COVID-19 in aged residential care

Following the classification of five clusters of COVID 19 in ARC facilities, the Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, commissioned this review to quickly learn what was effective and what needs to be improved in order to avoid or better manage any similar events in the future. Read the full report and recommendations.

The report made 19 recommendations, which were turned into an action plan with seven workstreams. These workstreams have been addressed and the action plan is now considered fulfilled. Read the action plan.

Retirement Villages

Retirement Villages operate under the same guidance as the wider community where they are based.