Christchurch retirement home in lockdown

The Village Palms Retirement Village in Shirley advised of the lockdown in a letter to family...
The Village Palms Retirement Village in Shirley advised of the lockdown in a letter to family members today. Photo: Supplied via NZ Herald
A Christchurch retirement village has gone into lockdown after residents began displaying symptoms of a respiratory illness.

The Village Palms Retirement Village in Shirley advised of the lockdown in a letter to family members today.

"We currently have several residents on our 1st floor care unit who are displaying symptoms of a respiratory illness," the letter says.

"We have forwarded swabs to the Public Health department to test for Covid-19."

Regional manager John Amesbury said: "We have eight residents experiencing normal flu-like symptoms.

"We've implemented the normal precautions -- it's normal procedure to alert DHB and public health if more than three residents show signs of respiratory illness, or any illness really. It would be the same for gastro.

"There's nothing to suggest it's anything other than the normal flu."

The Ministry of Health directed queries to the Canterbury District Health Board.

The village offers rest home facilities, hospital-level care and serviced apartments.

There are 34 beds at the village, according to its website.

Owners Jenny and Finn Stokes say they have "two decades of experience in the aged care industry".

There is no sign of CDHB, St John or any other emergency responders at the facility this afternoon.

Many of the building's windows were open and some of its access gates shut up, but gardeners were still working in the grounds and staff were seen leaving.

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