COVID-19 Update for Ronald McDonald House South Island
1 September 2022
The information below is current as of September 1, 2022
Ronald McDonald House Charities NZ is an essential service. This means our core purpose to enable family-centred care, by keeping families together when their child is in hospital away from home will be fulfilled throughout all national alert levels.
Many of the families staying at Ronald McDonald House have children with compromised immunity due to their medical conditions and treatment plans. These children are at a high risk from Covid-19.
To ensure the safety of patients, families, our team, and essential volunteers, RMHC has re-introduced a series of actions according to Alert Level status that will ensure we can safely continue to provide accommodation and support for families with a child undergoing medical treatment.
The following actions are in effect, these actions have been guided by the Ministry of Health and in collaboration with our partner District Health Boards:
- Non-essential volunteers, visitors and activities have been limited. Visitors must receive prior approval from a team member before accessing the House
- All persons who require access to the House must complete a RAT test prior to arriving, and comply by the health safety protocols in our programmes
- Additional sanitisation in communal areas is being undertaken by the team as per Ministry of Health recommendations
- Physical distancing measures are in place
- All entrances to the House are closed off to visitors. Only families staying at the House and team members have direct access to our facilities
- Should the demand for accommodation exceed our capacity we will continue to support families off-site in self-contained accommodation which is located close to the Hospitals. The cost of this is taken care of by RMHC
- Screening of all families, our team, and volunteers prior to entering the House and Family Rooms
All families, volunteers and our team will be screened prior to entering a facility to minimise the opportunity of inadvertently spreading the virus.
At an already stressful time for families, the risk from Covid-19 adds a new level of anxiety. They need our support more than ever. If you are able to help support families, please donate here. Our team would be grateful to receive donations of non-perishable food items – please leave these items at the front door. We will keep you updated as the situation changes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are your programmes still operating?
Yes – the Ronald McDonald House in Christchurch is still providing accommodation and food for families who have a child undergoing medical treatment for those families who are currently staying with us.
The Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at Christchurch Hospital and Southland Hospital are currently operating, with three ensuite bedrooms (Christchurch) and four ensuite bedrooms (Southland) available respectively, for families that are in need of overnight accommodation. The communal areas are currently closed to day visitors until further notice.
Are you turning any families away?
No, we are not, we are committed to ensuring that any eligible family who requires accommodation close to the hospital is welcomed. A thorough screening programme is in place to ensure the wellbeing of all families, our team, and volunteers.
Are visitors allowed?
No visitor access without prior approval
Is the Family Dinner Programme still running?
Yes! We are pleased to confirm that Family Dinner Programme is back up and running under the current alert level, with a maximum of 6-8 people per group to be in line with social distancing guidelines. You can find out more about this amazing programme here, and book a date to cook for the families using the calendar.
Donations during Lockdown
If you would like to donate frozen meals, or non-perishable food supplies, please contact our GM South Island Programmes, Sharon Cocker at [email protected] who will be able to provide an update of what families need.
Grocery vouchers are very useful as it means we can purchase items depending on the changing needs of those staying at the House. Please send vouchers to Ronald McDonald House South Island, PO Box 1463, Christchurch 8140.
If you are able to support families currently staying in our facilities, please consider a cash donation at www.rmhsi.org.nz/donations. This will allow us to continue our operations, including providing accommodation and meals to families staying at Ronald McDonald House
Are your events and fundraisers still going ahead?
Yes. Keep an eye on our website here to see updates on current and future events.
What happens if someone in the House tests positive for Covid-19?
If anyone has a positive diagnosis for Covid-19 they will not be able to stay at the House. Our facility is not equipped to support the self-isolation that these situations require.
We have protocols in place to act swiftly and with compassion to utilise the services of our partner hospital and Public Health to ascertain how the family will be supported and transported home or to a suitable facility, or if need be to hospital.
Further, we will also work closely with Public Health on the necessary steps to follow for isolating known contacts and traceability of people in our House.
We truly understand this will be a challenging time for families and volunteers of Ronald McDonald House South Island – please rest assured we are doing everything we can to provide the best support that we are able. Thank you in advance for helping us to achieve this.