Independent Review of COVID-19 Clusters in Aged Residential Care Facilities Published
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Posted June 11, 2020
Media Release: Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health has today 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 sector feedback on. Following this feedback, the approach, priorities and agreed actions can be confirmed.
Both the independent reviewers and the Ministry have acknowledged the work of staff and others involved in aged residential care to protect a vulnerable group of the New Zealand population, and in preventing and managing the cluster outbreaks.
The Ministry also recognises the willingness of the sector to participate in the review and to put in place measures to limit further clusters or infections.
The review examines in detail five clusters, as well as looking at a similar number of facilities which were largely unaffected.
The panel report has confirmed that the infections were introduced to the facilities by staff or visitors. ESR data shows that three facilities experienced staff cases first.
The key focus of both the reviewers and the Ministry is to improve systems to prevent similar occurrences. Addressing faults in our systems reinforces the quality improvement focus used throughout health and disability services. No blame is being attributed to any staff involved.
The Ministry will be seeking feedback from aged care representatives, DHBs and PHUs on feedback on the Review recommendations over the next three weeks to inform a response and an agreed action plan for improvement.
Testing has reached a significant milestone - yesterday, laboratories completed 3,350 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 301,882. This represents 6% of the New Zealand population.
The Ministry acknowledges everyone who has been tested, and also the health workforce carrying out and analysing the tests.
Testing will continue to be a significant part of the response to COVID-19.
It is now 20 days since the last new case was reported in New Zealand, and again there are no active cases.
The total number of confirmed cases remains at 1,154, which is the number reported to the World Health Organization.
The combined total of confirmed and probable cases remains at 1,504.
The number of recovered cases is 1,482.
There are no additional deaths to report.
There is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.
Nine significant clusters have now closed, no change from yesterday.