Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) New Zealand is an essential service. This means our core purpose, to enable family-centred care by keeping families together when their child is in a New Zealand 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. These children are at high risk from – COVID-19.
To ensure the safety of patients, families, staff and essential volunteers remains paramount. RMHC® New Zealand has re-introduced a series of actions that will ensure we can safely continue to provide accommodation and care for families with a child undergoing medical treatment.
These following actions, effective as at 18 August 2021, have been guided by the Ministry of Health and in collaboration with partnering District Health Boards and include:
- All families currently accommodated in a Ronald McDonald House at either Auckland Domain, Grafton Mews or Wellington House will be able to remain in the House until they can return to their homes.
- The Ronald McDonald Family Room® programme day lounge at the National Children’s Hospital in Auckland will be closed to all ward families and visitors. Families who were previously staying in the Family Room will be accommodated at off-site, self-contained accommodation close to the hospital.
- The Ronald McDonald Family Room® programme day lounge at the Wellington Hospital will be closed to all ward families and visitors.
- Families checking in to a Ronald McDonald House at either Auckland Domain, Grafton Mews or Wellington House will be accommodated at off-site, self-contained accommodation, so that they can self-isolate safely in close proximity to hospitals. The cost of this accommodation will be covered by RMHC New Zealand.
- To ensure the safety for both families and volunteers, Ronald McDonald House facilities throughout New Zealand will operate with a significantly reduced volunteer pool to provide essential services.
Update as of 7 September 2021:
- With the move to Alert Level 2 in Wellington from 11:59pm Tuesday , 7 September 2021, we will re-commence accommodating families in our Wellington House from Wednesday, 22 September.
- The Wellington Family Room day lounge can reopen Wednesday, 22 September (dependent on volunteer availability).
- Wellington staff currently working from home may return to work from Wednesday, 22 September.
- Regular volunteering in Wellington can recommence from Wednesday, 22 September.
- Cook groups won’t start until Monday, 4 October.
Northland Care Mobile & Rotorua Retreat:
- These programs can recommence from Wednesday, 22 September with some additional guidelines.
An increase in the demand for off-site accommodation, as well as food provisioning requirements, will once again result in additional costs to RMHC New Zealand due to the significant changes to our operating model.
Screening of all families, staff, and volunteers prior to entering our Houses
All families, volunteers, and staff will be screened prior to entering a facility to minimise the chance of inadvertently spreading the virus. Other than those requiring isolation, families that have a heightened risk will be found alternative accommodation close to the hospital, for their safety and the wider RMHC New Zealand whānau.
Supporting the families
At an already stressful time for families, the risk from COVID-19 adds a new anxiety. They need our support more than ever. If you are able to help support families you can:
Our team would be grateful for donations of non-perishable food items (although, please leave these outside the front door) but we are unable to receive second-hand clothes or toys right now.
We will keep posting updates here as the situation changes.
RMHC New Zealand COVID-19: Media Alerts