A Tauranga retirement village
has been closed to visitors after a suspected norovirus
Bethlehem Views, a 68-room rest home and hospital, is closed
to visitors and contractors while it deals with the suspected
A management spokesman said Public Health had advised the
village to not allow visitors or contractors on the property.
"We are taking all measures possible to prevent the spread of
infection and maintain the health and well-being of our
residents," he said.
"All residents are being isolated in the hope this will be
brought to a swift conclusion. We understand this is
inconvenient for residents, families and friends and we
appreciate their co-operation and patience to manage this
Bay of Plenty medical officer of health Neil de Wet said the
outbreak was most likely norovirus but test results had yet
to come back. The virus typically lasts in individuals for
two to three days.
As well as isolation and restricting visitor movements, the
rest home had instituted a range of cleaning and disinfectant
measurements including strict hand hygiene and staff to stay
home if they become infected.
It was standard protocol for a retirement home to close its
doors on visitors in a situation like this, he said.
However, a Rotorua woman is furious she cannot see her
elderly mother because of the "lock down".
The concerned daughter, who did not want to be identified,
said she was last able to visit her mother at the retirement
home a week ago on Saturday.
"My sister went to visit her over the weekend when she was
turned away at the door," she said. Her mother, who has had
dementia for 12 years, was no longer able to speak.
"My mother could die any day and we would have no idea."
The daughter said she would even sign an agreement with the
home to be able to see her mother.
She was told she would be able to visit her mother 96 hours
after the last patient was sick with the effects of the
virus, she said.
"That could be a month away, those things go around and
Her mother, who has not been unwell, has her own bedroom and
ensuite within the village, she said.
- By Ruth Keber of the
Bay of Plenty Times
Symptoms may include vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhoea,
fever, headaches, muscle/joints aches and pains, nausea and
lack of energy.
Symptoms usually occur within 48 hours of exposure to an
infected person, food or environment.
No specific treatment is available but symptoms can be
relieved by drinking plenty of fluids and taking paracetamol.