All student email | COVID-19 update | 18 February 2020

Kia ora koutou,

The wellbeing and safety of our staff and students is our top priority and now that we are back in full University mode it is timely to remind everyone of the key COVID-19 (Coronavirus) messages.

It’s important to ensure you’re well-informed so that you can support those in your community with the right information to take responsible steps to protect themselves and others. At UC we strive to create a campus culture of belonging, understanding, inclusiveness and caring. Any signs of discrimination surrounding a virus that doesn’t discriminate on race or religion will not be tolerated. To raise a concern go to https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/support/concerns/students/.

  1. Misinformation about COVID-19 and self-isolation continues. The current facts:
  • As at 11am 18 February there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
  • The Ministry of Health does say that the likelihood of importing a case remains high.
  • The Government extended the travel restrictions until Monday 24 February 2020.
  • Foreign travellers who have been present in, or transited through, mainland China in the previous 14 days will be refused entry to New Zealand. Restrictions reviewed every 48 hours.
  • NZ Citizens and Residents who have visited or transited through mainland China since 2 February need to self-isolate and register for health checks through the new Healthline service.
  • Mainland China includes all of China, but not Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, and not Taiwan.
  1. How COVID-19 Spreads (Ministry of Health)

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. Hand sanitiser is also available around campus.

  1. Lecture Capture

ECHO 360 lecture capture is happening in many courses to enable students to study online back in China. It is important to note that not ALL courses are being captured, as not all courses are being undertaken by students in China. As always, we encourage you to attend lectures in person where possible for both the opportunity to meet other students and speak directly with your lecturer.

  1. Impacted Student Study Plans and Visas

The Government and Immigration NZ are still reviewing the situation about students who are in China and unable to travel to New Zealand currently. Without confirmation on the travel ban timelines, all of our planning continues around the possibility of Semester 1 being delivered online to these students. We appreciate everyone on campus working together to make it possible for these students to continue their studies where able. In some cases you might need to work on a project with a team member based remotely. This is a great opportunity to gain experience working in ways you will possibly do so in the future.

Finally, a reminder that we continue to update the website daily, even though we are only sending student updates when important new information comes to hand. Importantly though, if you have a question, make sure you reach out and ask at ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz.

Ngā mihi,

Lynn McClelland

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