Tag Archives: COVID-19

Covid-19 update – What Alert Level 2 will look like at UC

Kia ora koutou,

Yesterday the Prime Minister confirmed that Aotearoa New Zealand, except Auckland, will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm tonight, Tuesday 7 September. Auckland will remain in Alert Level 4. The alert levels will be reviewed again by the Government on Monday 13 September.

Students are welcome to return as campus begins its reopening from tomorrow, Wednesday 8 September. Some services and study spaces will have a phased reopening, allowing time for a safe return to campus, and adhering to the updated Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) guidelines that minimise risk and help Aotearoa to fight Covid-19, please read on for specific information.

Campus will be fully open on Monday 13 September. Teaching and learning will be online and in person (where possible) from Monday.

Today our focus is on sharing the new Delta Level 2 restrictions and what this means for us at UC. We understand from TEC initial guidance of 6 September that the following applies. However, we will be in touch with more information as these guidelines are further updated and clarified.

Class sizes
The social gathering limits at Alert Level 2 do not apply to education-related gatherings. We are awaiting further guidance from the TEC on appropriate limits on class sizes and physical distancing requirements and will update you as soon as possible regarding what this means for in-person classes.

Lectures, classes, tutorials/workshops, labs

  • Learn sites are the main place for updates and detailed course information.
  • Lectures will continue online and in-person from Monday.
  • Students are encouraged to attend lectures online in order to reduce demand for seats in lecture theatres.
  • Labs and small specialist classes will continue with physical distancing for those students who are on campus. In some circumstances face coverings may be required. If this is the case, students who haven’t brought their own masks can get them from the UC Security office. Online arrangements will be in place for students unable to return to campus.
  • Tests may go ahead with physical distancing if possible, but an online option will be available for those who cannot attend in person or if room capacities do not allow. 
  • Assessments due dates will not change.

If you’re in a Level 4 region or cannot come to campus under Level 2
Students who are unable to come to campus due to being at Level 4 in Auckland or due to health concerns will be accommodated via online learning and online versions of any assessment. Students are required to notify their course coordinators that they will be unable to come to campus as soon as possible. If you are a student in Auckland and would like to discuss anything you might be worried about, please email UC Protect, ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz, and someone will give you a call as soon as possible.  

Contact tracing – QR codes
Contact tracing remains essential. UC is responsible for collecting contact tracing information that identifies which students and staff (and any other visitors) have been in learning spaces and other ‘controlled environments’ on campus, and when. This can be done by using the Covid-19 Tracer App or by other means.

You are required to scan the QR codes as you move about campus, including rooms, buildings and all social and eating areas. Please check that Bluetooth has been enabled on the app.

Face coverings
Students and staff should bring face coverings or masks when coming on to campus at Alert Level 2. Face coverings must be worn inside libraries, student health services, pharmacies and other retailers on campus. Face coverings are strongly recommended at all other times, including in teaching and learning spaces and research and laboratory spaces, where practicable, but they are not mandatory. If in doubt wear a mask.

Research activities
Postgraduate students and researchers can continue working on campus under Alert Level 2, provided there is a Health and Safety plan in place which is approved by the relevant Manager and is consistent with TEC/Ministry of Health guidance for universities – with this guidance yet to be finalised.  

UC Library
The Central Library in Puaka-James Hight will open from 10am – 5pm on Thursday 9 September and Friday 10 September. The Central Library will then be closed over the weekend and will reopen on Monday 13 September.   EPS and Macmillan Brown Libraries will open on Tuesday 14 September. Online services will continue to be available as usual.

For more information on library hours click here.

UC Rec Centre
The UC Rec Centre will reopen on Thursday 9 September at 6am. For more information click here.

Haere-roa and cafes
Haere-roa will reopen for study from 8am on Monday 13 September. Cafes will also begin to reopen, with Café 101 reopening on Wednesday 8 September and most UCSA cafes reopening on Monday with slightly reduced hours. The Foundry will open from 2pm – 7pm on Friday 10 September. For more information click here.

Support for students
We extend our aroha and care to students who are in Auckland – stay safe up there and please reach out to your course coordinator if you need support.

If Covid-19 has affected your studies, you can apply for Special Consideration here.

Remember, there are a number of support services available to all students if you’re not feeling at your best right now:

Booking vaccinations 
Anyone aged 12 or over can book their free Covid-19 vaccination now. If you haven’t already booked your vaccine, visit www.BookMyVaccine.nz to do so.

More information
The UC Covid information page is regularly updated and has a wealth of information. If you have any questions or concerns about your return to campus please email ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz

We’re in a state of transitioning back to business as usual, the Incident Management Team will remain in charge until Monday 13 September. We’re looking forward to seeing you back on campus for Term 4 next week.

Ngā mihi,

Iain MacPherson
Incident Controller

Special Consideration

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances, such as illness, a family emergency or a Covid-19 lockdown can get in the way of your studies. If you’re struggling to complete your assessments, there is support here for you at UC:

  • If you need more time to finish an essay or assignment, you should speak to your course coordinator to see if it is possible to have an extension
  • If you miss an assessment or test, or have been unable to complete a piece of work to the best of your ability, you can apply for a Special Consideration. This is known as a Special Consideration for Impaired Performance

Find out what you need to do to apply for a Special Consideration, the application process, and timelines here>

We are receiving a high number of applications at the moment, and we are processing them as fast as we can. Thank you for your patience. 

If you need more help or someone to talk to at this time, you are not alone. There are lots of the UC  support services here for you, and they’re just a quick email or phone call away: 

Also don’t forget the final dates for enrolment changes and withdrawals

The last date to make changes to your enrolment or withdraw from Semester 2 courses is Friday 1 October 2021. Find out more here>  

What Alert Level 3 will look like at UC

Kia ora koutou,

Yesterday the Prime Minister confirmed that Aotearoa New Zealand, except Auckland and Northland, will move to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm tonight.

The keyword for us to remember while at this level is restrict. This means wear a face mask, scan wherever you go, keep a safe distance, and stay within your bubble. Read more here.

It’s been a while since we were at Alert Level 3 here in Ōtautahi Christchurch, so here’s everything you need to know about how UC will operate.

Access to campus

In line with Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) guidelines, the University’s Incident Management Team (IMT) have developed a process that will ensure safe access to campus for limited teaching and some research, as and where required, under Alert Level 3.

This process follows the message of, “Level 3 does not mean freedom, it means caution”, and so access to campus under Alert Level 3 will be strictly managed with Covid restrictions enforced.

  • Very limited teaching and research can occur on campus or in the field while we are at Alert Level 3. 
  • If a programme that you are part of is approved, the appropriate staff member will be in touch to advise you of the requirements and next steps.

In addition, postgraduate students are able to come onto campus to pick up essential work items. They will need to report to the Security Office, 114 Ilam Road to sign in.

To pick up work items you will need to:

  • wear a mask
  • observe physical distancing
  • have your Canterbury Card, so your postgraduate status can be confirmed
  • have a mobile phone on your person and provide your number to the Security team
  • be prepared to wait for access (it could take time as numbers are strictly limited onsite)
  • Once you’ve signed in, you will be escorted to your office to collect your required materials
  • You will need to report back to the Security Office to sign out, then leave campus immediately.

Access to campus to pick up items will be every day (including Saturday and Sunday) during daylight hours only from 8am – last departure from the Security Office at 5.30pm.

Restrictions at the Health Centre still apply while at Alert Level 3 – please call to make a booking as they unable to accept walk-ins.

Bubble management on campus

All teaching and other activities will be done remotely, where possible. However, if a class, workshop or lab that cannot be delivered online is granted permission to be held on campus, the number of people involved will be limited to 10 people or less.

Each of these groups is considered a separate “bubble” and must not interact with any other student or staff bubble.

Each bubble of 10 or less will be strictly managed to ensure appropriate infection control measures, such as physical distancing of 1 metre, and face mask wearing, are being met. If this applies to you, your lecturer will be in touch and will provide you with all the information you need to know.

Study spaces

There will be limited study spaces on campus for students who cannot do so from home and strict protocols will need to be followed. If you require this service or need more information, email ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz.

Face coverings

Staff and students should bring face coverings with them, and wear them at all times while on campus. Face coverings should be worn when accessing services like UC Security, UC Health and in situations where physical distancing may be difficult.

Remember, there are a number of support services available:

If you need any support, you can reach out to any one of the services or contacts listed above.

Booking vaccinations

If you’re eligible to book your vaccine and haven’t already, visit www.BookMyVaccine.nz. To check when you are eligible to book, click here.
For information on the Covid-19 vaccination, follow this link.

If you have any questions about the University’s Covid-19 response, visit the University of Canterbury’s Covid information page, or email ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz.

Two weeks ago, none of us expected to approach the mid-semester break in a lockdown, and it’s okay to not be at your best as a result. What is important is that you look after yourself and those around you.

Remember to check in with your friends and whānau with a quick message or call. Take some time to get fresh air, prioritise rest, and go easy on yourself – we’ve got this

Kia kaha,

Leanne Keenan
Incident Controller