COVID-19 novel coronavirus
NZ is now at Alert Level 2 (as of Thursday 14 May). This alert level allows nearly all businesses to reopen, with strict social distancing, no gatherings of more than 10 people and hygiene requirements in place. Currently, NZ has a very low number (sometimes zero) of people being diagnosed with Covid-19 each day.
As an education provider, the gathering limit, does not apply, consequently, from Monday 18th of May, ITC students returned to campus to resume their classes. The safety & well-being of our students and staff are extremely important to us and we are strictly adhering to the advice issued to us by the NZ government. Please read below to see the measures we have put in place at each ITC campus.
Any student with a serious health issue that may compromise their immune system, or may be feeling unwell, should stay at home. We have learning options available to these students 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).
Below you will find more information on what ITC is doing to provide a safe environment for our students & staff, however if you have any queries about this or how we are supporting our students during this time, please feel free to contact us for free on 0800 868747 (within NZ) or +64 9 373 5510 (from overseas).
On-campus measures to keep ITC students and staff safe
As mentioned, ITC has implemented a number of social distancing and hygiene measures to help keep our students and staff safe on campus. These include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Requesting all students and staff to stay at home if they are unwell
- All staff and students are required to sign in each day for contact tracing purposes
- Physical distancing measures will be in place throughout the campus – 1 metre apart from others wherever possible
- Each class will have their own training room. Students will be assigned a desk.
- Strict cleaning measures will be in place in between classes, with staff cleaning each desk, with food-safe high-grade disinfectant. Other commonly used door handles, lift buttons etc will be cleaned multiple times throughout the day by staff.
- Each class will have staggered break times
- Students will be able to stay in the classroom for breaks
- All staff and students will be required to hand sanitise on the way into the classroom and on the way out
- ITC will only be booking and participating in industry site visits with companies that meet public health requirements
- Visitors to campus (such as industry speakers) will be allowed, but they must sign in
- As required by the government, ITC remains flexible and able to return to full online-learning if the Alert Levels were to change again
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 or Healthline
It’s quite normal to feel distressed and experience symptoms of stress during this time. The lock-down, media coverage & public discussion of COVID-19 may start to affect 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 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.
In order to help slow 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 has further strengthened travel restrictions, temporarily closing our border to almost all travelers 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.