COVID-19 novel coronavirus
Currently there are only a very small number of cases of Covid-19 in NZ, consequently, as of Tuesday 9 June, NZ has moved to Alert Level 1.
At Alert Level 1, everyone can return (without social distancing restrictions) to work, school, sports and domestic travel, and people can get together without any restrictions on the number gathered. Controls at our borders remain for those entering New Zealand (currently only NZ Citizens, Residents & families), including health screening and testing for all arrivals, and mandatory 14 day managed quarantine or isolation.
At ITC, all of our campuses are open and all students are back in class, without any social distancing required. We continue our extra cleaning of surfaces, hand hygiene practices, track students attendance and require visitors to sign in to our premises in case contact tracing becomes necessary in future. Additionally, any student or staff member that is unwell, is asked to remain at home and contact their doctor (GP) or Healthline.
We have learning options available to students unable to come to class via our online platform Moodle (which the students were using during the lock-down, Alert Level 3 & 4), along with tutor support. ITC has been delivering distance learning via Study From Home for over fifteen years, so you can rest assured that we have robust systems and processes in place to teach virtually.
For COVID-19 health advice and information, contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS. Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages and they also have Mandarin and Cantonese speaking staff available.
The NZ government has set up a dedicated COVID-19 website for the latest (and verified) information on the virus in NZ. If you are unsure of something you have heard, you can find all official, NZ government approved announcements on this page.
Coronaviruses are a large and diverse family of viruses which includes the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). In January 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed a new type of coronavirus, known as COVID-19 (formerly known as 2019-nCoV). Although NZ currently has very few cases of Covid-19, we are strongly aware that this virus pandemic is still extremely active throughout the globe.
If you have any queries about how ITC is operating at this time, please feel free to contact us for free on 0800 868747 (within NZ) or +64 9 373 5510 (from overseas).
In order to help stop the rate of infection (as to-date, all virus cases have come from people that have recently come from overseas or been in contact with persons that have), the New Zealand Government put in place travel restrictions, temporarily closing our border to almost all travelers (that are not NZ Citizens or Residents) from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020.
Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis by Immigration New Zealand for:
- humanitarian reasons
- health and other essential workers
- citizens of Samoa and Tonga for essential travel to New Zealand
- the holder of a visitor visa who is the partner of dependent of a temporary work or student visa holder and who normally lives in New Zealand and is currently in New Zealand.
No other foreign traveler can currently enter New Zealand. Returning residents and citizens must go in to isolation (or quarantine if they are showing symptoms of Covid-19) for 14 days upon arrival.
This temporary closure will be reviewed on a 16 day rotation. More information can be found on the Immigration NZ’s Covid-19 page on their website.
Keeping yourself healthy
The World Health Organisation suggests people follow this advice:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or cleanse with hand sanitiser, especially after contact with ill people or their environment
- Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth)
- People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette: maintain distance, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and then performing hand hygiene
- Stay at home if you feel unwell and contact your doctor (GP) or Healthline
It has been quite a stressful time over the last 3 months and it is quite normal to feel distressed or to experience symptoms of stress during this time. The lock-down, economic issues, media coverage & public discussion of COVID-19 may start to have an effect on you and your mental well-being.
If any ITC student would like to chat with us about how you are feeling, please feel free to contact an ITC staff member. Also, here are some tips for managing your own mental well-being from the Ministry of Health:
- Spend time in places that feel safe and comfortable as much as possible.
- Tell yourself that how you are feeling is a normal reaction and will pass – it is nothing to be afraid of.
- Reach out to your usual supports – family and whānau, friends and workmates. Sharing how we feel and offering support to others is important.
- Keep to usual routines – mealtimes, bedtime, exercise and so on.
- Keep active – go for a walk each day, do an online exercise class etc.
- Arrange in-person or video chats with friends and family regularly. This can improve general well-being and help distract from distressing feelings.
However, if over days and weeks your distress or stress symptoms are escalating or you feel you are not coping, help and professional support is available. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental well-being, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Healthcare cover if you get sick
People who have or who are suspected of having an infectious and/or quarantinable disease are eligible for publicly funded health services to address the risks to other people.
The services must relate only to all or any of the following:
- the surveillance of persons who are liable to quarantine under the Health Act 1956 or the Tuberculosis Act 1948
- treatment of the person’s infectious or quarantinable disease
- follow-up services and
- contact tracing services.
For the person’s infectious or quarantinable disease, to the extent appropriate in the circumstances to address risks to other persons, as determined by a clinician.
Citizenship and immigration status are not relevant; length of stay is not relevant.
For international students holding insurance policies that do not cover Covid-19 claims, please note, the medical services mentioned above will be covered by the NZ government – at no cost to you. Other expenses, such as residual costs that may arise (for example, repatriation – returning to your home country, costs of parents travelling here to support a sick student, changes to existing travel bookings, etc.) would need to be paid for by the student.