IDEA Services and Choices NZ – Alert Level 2 Update to Families

We are committed to ensuring that we reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the people we support and our staff at Alert Level 2.

Naturally, we are balancing this with people’s desire to be more social, see family and return to doing some of the things that haven’t been possible under Alert Levels 3 and 4.

Rest assured we are taking a cautious approach in moving towards change, knowing that many of the people we support have other health complications that may put them at greater risk of becoming seriously unwell if the contract COVID-19.

We are also looking forward to seeing you, and seeing you united with your family member or friend. I’d like to thank you for support over this period.

We’re following Government advice for people to take extra precautions to keep safe. This might mean people we support continue to limit who they see, and where they go, avoid hugging their friends and maintain physical distancing. However, we want to make sure people can also go out for a walk, visit a café or shopping mall, and see/keep in contact with close family and friends, while we minimise risk.

This is a constantly evolving situation and we will continue to monitor and evaluate these measures and will update if necessary. We will continue to assess specific scenarios and ensure our clinical team is involved.

We expect staff, people we support and visitors or people we meet to meet all our expectations around good hygiene practices, avoid groups of more than 10 people and follow physical distancing guidelines.

If you want to visit or host a visit we’ll be asking a number of questions that will include how many people you have been in contact with, whether they have been in contact with anyone who is sick or awaiting a test and to consider the environment where the visit will occur.

Please talk to your local Service Manager and thank you again for your patience and support. I know this has been a challenging time.

Please see more details about changes in our services below.

Joan Cowan
IDEA Services Chief Operating Officer



Visiting our services

We have a number of precautions that must be followed for us to be able to welcome you into one of our homes.

We will consider any increased risk to all the people who live and work in the home. We will also restrict the number of visitors at any one time and therefore may need time to complete our processes and accommodate visitors. We appreciate you have already been patient and are looking forward to seeing your family member or friend. While we won’t compromise on safety, we will try support visits to take place.

  • All visitors to our services must follow Alert Level 2 precautions, this includes:
  • All visitors following good hand hygiene, and cough/sneeze etiquette and maintaining a physical distance of at least 1 metre from all those in the house who they are not specifically visiting.
  • No hugs for other house members and staff.
  • You must gain pre-approval for visits from a Service Manager
  • We will not allow visitors who are sick, who have been sick recently, who have COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19. This may require the clinical team to assess COVID-19 risks through as above.
  • We may use a designated meeting area or suggest a meeting outside the home.
  • Contact tracing and COVID-19 symptom screening must be completed on arrival.
  • We’ll limit unnecessary contact between visitors and other residents and staff.
  • We’ll limit visitor numbers in a house. Only one person we support being visited at a time, by a maximum of two people.
  • Hand hygiene to be carried out before entering.
  • Visitors must wear a mask.


Your family member or friend visiting you

If you would like to take your family member or friend out of our services or have them at your home for a visit please talk to your Service Manager so that we can support this to happen while meeting our obligations to minimise COVID-19 risk in our services.

The process that will need to be in place will be similar to checks and conversations ahead of you visiting our services (as above).

Also please be reassured that we will also be taking strict measures where people we support are going out for work, fun, social opportunities and health appointments.


People returning from an extended stay at their family home

If your family member has been staying with you for an extended period and would like to return to our services, please talk to your Service Manager.

We are keen to support a smooth transition that meets our requirements to minimise risk to all people we support and our staff.

We’ll want to talk to you about a number of considerations including whether anyone in your home has been unwell or may have been exposed to COVID-19.


Contact tracing and COVID-19 screening

At Alert Level 2, we’ll be keeping full records to support contact tracing if required. You’ll be required to help us keep a record of who people we support have been in contact with and will need to provide us with details.


PPE and extra precautions

The end of Level 3 means most of us is in contact with more people and therefore we are increasing the use of PPE throughout our services.

We have strict guidelines in place that we expect staff to follow.

Please don’t be surprised if we ask you wear masks or other equipment or ask you to take precautions as part of our processes.