Archived COVID-19 Updates 4 Feb 4 March 2020
Update of Status - 4 March, 2020: General Update
As you are likely aware, to date New Zealand now has two confirmed cases of COVID-19 detected in Auckland. Ministry of Health is prepared and ready to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak should it occur here. The risk of an ongoing community outbreak is low to moderate, and Ministry of Health are monitoring the situation closely.
Toi Ohomai has a Critical Response Team managing this developing situation closely, including analysing any ongoing potential impact on our staff and students. We're checking in daily with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education representatives to ensure the accuracy of all the current information on this developing outbreak. As a reminder, Toi Ohomai has procedures in place for any infectious disease incidents, and these have been reviewed over the last few weeks.
What does this mean for Toi Ohomai?
- There is no change to our position from the previous update (4 February 2020). We'll continue to keep you all updated if this should change
- If you have any concerns, please don't hesitate to contact the International Team or the Health and Safety Team.
Below we've included some simple information about COVID- 19 and how to protect yourself and others.
How it spreads
Like the flu, COVID-19 can be transmitted from person to person. The scientific evidence confirms that coronavirus is spread by droplets. This means that when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, they may generate droplets containing the virus. These droplets are too large to stay in the air for long, so they quickly settle on surrounding surfaces.
Droplet-spread diseases can be spread by:
- coughing and sneezing
- close personal contact
- contact with an object or surface with viral particles on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
That's why it's really important to practice good hygiene, regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands and practice good cough etiquette.
Prevention - how to protect yourself and others
You can take some simple steps to help stop the spread of diseases like COVID-19.
- Avoid close contact with people with cold or flu-like illnesses.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing.
- Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly:
- before eating or handling food
- after using the toilet
- after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children's noses
- after caring for sick people.
- Below are two videos on correct hand washing technique and coughing etiquette.
If you have any questions please call Heathline on 0800 358 5453 (or for international SIMs +64 9 358 5453). It's free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People calling that line will be able to talk with a member of the National Telehealth Service. They also have access to interpreters.
- Healthline's main number for non-coronavirus health concerns - 0800 611 116
- Windermere Campus, Health Centre - Te Whare Hauora, on 07 557 8756
- Mokoia Campus; Health Centre Te Whare Hauora, on 07 346 8883
All contact numbers will be able to provide you with professional health advice and information.
For further information, please see:
Update of Status - 4 February, 2020: Travel Restrictions
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) have updated their travel advisory and now recommend that New Zealanders do not travel to any part of mainland China.
In order to reduce the chances of 2019-nCoV spreading within New Zealand, additional border measures have been implemented, with effect from midnight on 2 February 2020.
There are no confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in New Zealand to date but the likelihood of importing a case is high. The risk of an ongoing outbreak in New Zealand remains low.
On 2 February 2020, the New Zealand government made the following announcement:
The Government is placing temporary entry restrictions into New Zealand on all foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through mainland China to assist with the containment of the novel coronavirus and to protect New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from the disease.
This will take effect from tomorrow and will be in place for up to 14 days. This position will be reviewed every 48 hours.
Any foreign travellers who leave or transit through mainland China after 2 February 2020 (NZ time) will be refused entry to New Zealand.
Any foreign travellers in transit to New Zealand on 2 February 2020 will be subject to enhanced screening on arrival but, pending clearance, will be granted entry to New Zealand.
New Zealand citizens and permanent residents returning to New Zealand will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members, but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival back in the country.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has also raised its travel advice to New Zealanders for all of mainland China to “Do not travel”, the highest level.
What does this mean?
We understand that the implications of this restricted travel will be of concern of some of our staff and students currently in China, or have plans to transit through China. Toi Ohomai is currently working to assess all those impacted to minimise disruption where possible. We believe this travel restriction impacts 15 of our returning/new students, who are currently in China.
We’re working closely with our International agents to urgently change travel routes for those students who have travel plans that include a China transit.
What does this mean for Toi Ohomai students?
- If you have recently returned from China, or have a household member who has recently returned from China, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days from the date you re-entered New Zealand
- Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. This means all situations where you may come in contact with others, such as social gatherings, work, school, child care/pre-school centres, university, faith-based gatherings, aged care and healthcare facilities, prisons, sports gatherings, supermarkets, restaurants, shopping malls, and all public gatherings
- Our International Team are currently working to contact all students that have recently travelled from, or transited through China, to provide support and advice where required. They are also working with our International Agents to support incoming students who have travel plans that include a transit through China. If you would like to contact our International Team please email: [email protected]
- For domestic students who have recently travelled/returned from mainland China, you will also be required to self-isolate for 14 days from the date you re-entered New Zealand. If you’re concerned about missing any classes please contact your Faculty Administrator who will be able to support you.
- If you have any questions or need health advice, please phone the Toi Ohomai on-campus Health Centre - Te Whare Hauora on 07 557 8756 or 07 346 8883, or contact Healthline on 0800 611 116. Healthline has translators available to assist you.
Please continue to follow safety precautions:
- As always, staff and students who are unwell should refrain from attending campus.
- Please practice and encourage thorough hand hygiene in classes and on campus by using soap and water - alcohol hand gels on their own are not sufficient. During O-Week we will be hosting a series of fun and interactive ‘hand-washing’ exercises for all students – more detail about these workshops will follow shortly
- People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cough into your bent elbow if possible). Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, dispose of tissues in a rubbish bin, do not reuse them and wash hands.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Toi Ohomai doing to protect students and staff from Coronavirus?
Toi Ohomai has convened a Critical Response Team to manage this developing situation, including analysing any potential impact on our staff and students. We’re monitoring the situation closely and checking in daily with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education websites to ensure the accuracy of all the current information on this developing outbreak. Toi Ohomai has procedures in place for any infectious disease incidents, and these have been reviewed over the last few days.
It has been decided that:
- Self-isolation for staff and students deemed high-risk - Following the advice of New Zealand Ministry of Health and New Zealand Ministry of Education, we’ve informed our staff and our students that those deemed as high-risk (recently travelled or transited through mainland China) self-isolate for 14 days from the date they re-entered New Zealand. Toi Ohomai is currently working with those impacted to provide accommodation and study support if required. Our goal is to ensure that the impact on our students’ study is as minimal as possible.
- Staff Travel to China postponed - We have postponed all staff travel to China.
- Constant communication with staff and students
We are keeping both our staff and students informed of updated through our website, weekly emails, social media channels and company intranet. Both our website and intranet have dedicated sites where staff and students can access information. Our International and People, Engagement and Capability teams are working closely with those directly impacted to provide support and advice.
2. Can I attend Toi Ohomai campuses?
If you are well and have no symptoms, you are welcome on campus for the start of your studies.
3. I feel unwell, what should I do?
If you feel unwell, stay home until you are recovered and no longer experiencing symptoms. Please do not attend classes or any of our campuses. We recommend that you contact Healthline on 0800 611 116 in the first instance if you feel unwell or if you have any concerns. If you do call Healthline, it is important to mention if you have recently travelled to China or if you’ve had any contact with someone with severe acute respiratory illness who has been in China.
Students can contact the Toi Ohomai on-campus Health Centre - Te Whare Hauora if you have any questions or concerns. PLEASE CALL US FIRST AND WE WILL ADVISE YOU ON WHAT TO DO NEXT
- Windermere Campus, Health Centre - Te Whare Hauora, on 07 557 8756
- Mokoia Campus, Health Centre - Te Whare Hauora, on 07 346 8883
Staff can also contact their local medical practice or general practitioner with any questions or concerns.
4. As a student, what if my travel is delayed due to travel disruptions?
Our International Team are currently working with students who are impacted by these travel restrictions. We will be making provisions for those whose study will be impacted, which may include deferring study to semester two. Where possible, we are working to ensure minimal impact for students who are planning to begin their studies with Toi Ohomai. If you would like to contact our International Team please email: [email protected]
Further Information and Resources
World Health Organisation website - situation updates and the latest advice on the 2019-nCoV