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Christchurch rest home residents in lockdown, tested for Covid-19 due to flu-like symptoms

A group of residents at a Christchurch rest home who have come down with flu-like symptoms are now isolating to prevent further spread.

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Eight people at the Village Palms Rest Home in Shirley are now in isolation, awaiting Covid-19 test results. Source: 1 NEWS

1 NEWS understands level one of The Village Palms went into lockdown this morning after all eight residents on the floor showed symptoms that match a cold, including a runny nose and headache.

None of the residents are allowed visitors and they have sent swabs for Covid-19 testing this morning.

General manager Jon Amesbury told 1 NEWS this afternoon there was "absolutely nothing to suggest that the residents have anything other than the normal flu", though.

"This is normal procedure for any facility, and in particular cold and flu season," he said in a statement.

"We have notified the DHB and Public Health as a precautionary measure. We would re-iterate that this is standard practice and that we are simply following the standard protocols for infection control."

Medical Officer of Health for Canterbury Dr Cheryl Brunton told 1 NEWS because the affected residents had mild respiratory symptoms, testing for Covid-19 was undertaken as a precaution, as well as testing for other respiratory viruses.

"As there is currently no community transmission of Covid-19, it is highly unlikely that this outbreak is due to anything other than normal seasonal respiratory illness," she said.

The Canterbury District Health Board said it was unable to make further comment until test results were in. It could not give a timeframe of when results could be expected, though.