All disability support services can operate so long as they have Alert Level 2 public health control measures in place such as having Covid-19 risk screening in place, appropriate PPE is worn and physical distancing rules are maintained.
Under Alert Level 2, disabled people can:
• move houses, for example, from a family home back to their community residential home or vice versa
• access the community (e.g. sports, recreational, cultural and leisure activities), as long as this can be done so safely. (e.g. everyone must follow physical distancing rules, practice good hygiene, detailed records are kept for contact tracing purposes, and the number of people is limited at gatherings.
- For people who employ their own support workers
- NASC services
- Equipment and Modification services
- Supported Living providers, Home and Community Support Services and Choice in Community Living providers
- Behaviour support services
- Day services
- Community residential services
- Disability Information Advisory Services
- High and Complex Framework
There are no changes to your funding at Alert Level 2.
Paying for help or items you need
You can continue to use your funding to buy things that you couldn’t before COVID-19, however these purchases must be within your allocation. For example, you may still wish to pay for grocery delivery rather than pay for a support worker to help you with shopping.
Talk to your IF Host or Coach, your Connector or Kaitūhono about what is reasonable for you to buy.
You can also find out more about what you can buy at: www.health.govt.nz/publication/what-people-can-buy-disability-funding-ministry-health-purchasing-guidelines
Reducing support during Alert Level 2
If you want to reduce the number of support workers who provide support to you during Alert Level 2, you will need agreement to make some permanent employment arrangements. You must comply with the employment agreements you have in place, and provide any relevant notice period, prior to making the change.
Make sure you also talk to your IF Host or Coach, Connector or Kaitūhono.
You can find out more about terminating an employment agreement at: www.employment.govt.nz/ending-employment/
Keeping you and your support workers safe
If your support worker also provides supports to other people, they should take precautions to work safely with you. Working safely means keeping 1-metre away from you, washing and drying their hands thoroughly, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or their elbow, and/or wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) if they can’t keep 1-metre away from you. They must not visit you if they, or you, are unwell, or have been in contact with someone who is unwell or has COVID-19 symptoms.
For guidance about when you should use PPE see:
At Alert level 2, respite facilities can remain open in a limited way if they can follow Alert Level 2 safety rules.
NASCs may provide their services in alternative ways (e.g. virtually, remotely) if possible, however NASCs are able to complete in-person assessments with Alert Level 2 restrictions in place.
All equipment, housing and vehicle modifications can still go ahead if they can be done so safely (physical distancing of 1 metre, good hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette, good record-keeping to support contact tracing).
Supported Living providers, Home and Community Support Services and Choice in Community Living providers
All community services that provide personal care to people (e.g. toileting, washing and feeding) can operate as normal with Alert Level 2 rules in place.
Infection prevention control measures must be adhered to for personal care services that require close physical contact, including use of PPE in accordance with PPE guidelines.
Where a disabled person is more at risk of severe symptoms from Covid-19, there should be agreement between them, their family and whānau, and the provider on who should support them and how their health will be protected.
Service visits, where possible, should be limited to those that can be undertaken safely: maintain physical distancing of 1 metre; good hygiene and infection prevention control practices; and good record-keeping to support contact tracing.
Where Supported Living Services are primarily focused on facilitating social connections, providers should use alternative forms of communication to connect with people they support if the support cannot occur safely.
Community participation (e.g. sports, recreation and leisure activities) should be limited to those activities that can be undertaken safely: follow physical distancing rules; maintain good hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette; good record-keeping to support contact tracing; and not having groups larger than 100 people.
Behaviour support services can still provide at-home visits and residential provider visits, if they can do so safely (physical distancing of 1 metre, good hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette, good record-keeping to support contact tracing).
Explore Behavioural Specialist will also continue to provide phone support from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday on 0800 000 421. You can find more information at: www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-information-specific-audiences/covid-19-information-disabled-people-and-their-family-and-whanau/covid-19-getting-disability-support#explore
Day services can open in a limited way following Alert Level 2 rules. This includes:
• not having groups larger than 100 people gathered together in a defined space
• maintaining physical distancing of 1-metre between groups
• good hygiene and infection prevention control measures, and
• keeping a record of people working at or attending the service for contact tracing purposes if required.
To assist with physical distancing, day service providers may make some changes to the service such as allowing some people to attend the day service in the morning and others in the afternoon, or on alternate days.
Community residential services continue to operate under all alert levels following the relevant guidance.
Under Alert Level 2, residential services should operate with some extra safeguards in place.
Residents should be supported to access meaningful activities in the community in a safe way following Alert Level 2 rules.
For people living in residential or hospital level services under Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care & Rehabilitation) Act 2003, the guidance will be the same as for mainstream residential services in relation to Alert Level 2 requirements for managing transmission risk. However, as individuals in High and Complex Framework services, assessment of any risks will also be required in relation to visitors and leave provisions at any time.
For people who are subject to the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care & Rehabilitation) Act 2003, leave will be required for visits into the community including visits with family as part of allowed social contact. For care recipients, leave will be approved by Care Managers. For Special Care Recipients leave approvals need to come through the Ministry as per usual process.
Disability and Information Advisory Services operate as normal with Alert Level 2 precautions.