Elderly care homes across NZ block all non-essential visitors in bid to combat coronavirus

Source: 1News

Elderly care homes around New Zealand are blocking all non-essential visitors in a bid to keep their vulnerable residents safe from coronavirus.

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Radius Care Managing Director Brien Cree has just confirmed 22 homes across the country have gone into restricted access due to Covid-19 precautions.

“We are restricting all visitors other than essential services,” he said.

The move will affect 1700 residents.

The restrictions also apply to family members and friends who are only allowed to visit loved ones "in the most urgent of circumstances."

In a statement Radius Care admitted the news would be distressing to some, but they are "taking this precaution to keep you loved ones safe and healthy."

New Zealand’s largest retirement village operator Ryman Health Care made the same decision yesterday to restrict non-emergency visits 1 NEWS has learned.

A spokesperson for Ryman said a letter was sent to residents and their families asking visitors to stay away and residents to pick up the phone rather than seeing friends.

At Ryman village gates visitors are being temperature checked and are having details recorded just in case of the need to track and trace.

They must also appear well to be allowed into the facility.

The spokesman says families and residents have reacted well to it.

Ryman is New Zealand’s largest retirement village operator, with 11,600 residents.

The elderly are more susceptible to having serious complications, or even death, from Covid-19.

A large outbreak of the virus in a US nursing home in Washington State has so far left 29 people dead, outlining the severity of the illness in such scenarios.