Tag Archives: COVID-19 update

Correction: Covid-19 update: 23 September 2021

The University of Canterbury is currently operating under Covid Alert Level 2.

We’re pleased to update you on the following information, which has been confirmed since our email on Monday, and Auckland’s move to Covid Alert Level 3 on Wednesday 22 September.

Vaccination clinic:
A pop-up Covid vaccination clinic will run in Haere-roa from 11am-5pm on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 October.

There’s no need to book, just drop in with your friends, colleagues, family or whānau and the team will take care of you. Please wear a face covering and maintain physical distancing.

For more information on the Covid-19 vaccine, click here>

Travel:
Following Auckland’s move to Covid Alert Level 3, and the finalisation of the Health Order, Cabinet have confirmed that updated rules for cross-boundary travel will prevent anyone from travelling into, out of or through an Alert Level 3 area.

Unfortunately, this means University of Canterbury students currently based in Auckland will be unable to return to Ōtautahi Christchurch, and the UC campus, at this time.

While there is precedent for permitted movement to attend an education entity, ‘the education entity must be within the same or adjacent region within the Alert Level 3 area’, which excludes travel to Ōtautahi Christchurch. For more on regional travel at Alert Level 3, click here>

We encourage any Auckland-based students to join the new, private UCSA Facebook group, 09 Lockdown Lowdown, so they can chat and stay connected. The student exec are online also. The vibe in the group is relaxed and it is a space where students can share anything from a study tip or challenge to a recipe and more. Join 09 Lockdown Lowdown here>

End of year exams:
Exam seating requirements have been reduced from 1.5 metres to 1 metre, which means that if we are operating at Covid Level 1 or 2 during the examination period, we can now accommodate more face-to-face examinations. 

As is currently the case, face-to-face examinations should only be requested if uninvigilated online or respondus monitor invigilated examinations are not feasible for the course. 

A move to face-to-face exams still requires an application to the Executive Dean/PVC by 28 September 2021 and the Examinations office by 29 September 2021, so students can be notified by 1 October. 

Any approved face-to-face exams must be submitted to the Examinations Office in the usual way, by 12 October 2021.

An online option will be required for those students who are unable to come to campus due to travel restrictions or health concerns and will need to be available for all students if the country moves to Covid Level 3 or 4 during the exam period. 

Online exams for all courses need to be checked and operational on AKO | LEARN by 12 October.

The updated TEC guidance is available here>

For more on the University of Canterbury’s Covid-19 approach, click here>

You can find the All Student email here> 

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui | Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.

Covid-19 update

Earlier this afternoon, the Prime Minister confirmed that Aotearoa New Zealand, except Auckland, will continue at Alert Level 2. Auckland will move to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm, Tuesday 21 September. Alert levels will be reviewed again on Monday 4 October.

Also confirmed this afternoon is a change in the number of people allowed to gather for events. At Alert Level 2, gatherings of up to 100 will be able to take place.

Teaching and learning: Will continue to operate as it has been. See the Covid information page for details on teaching and learning at Alert Level 2.

End of year exams: We intend to provide further information on end of year exams by the end of the week.

Vaccination clinic: A vaccination clinic will be set up in Haere-ora in early October for staff and students to get vaccinated. More information will be provided when the clinic is confirmed.

Travel: We are aware that some students who have been in Auckland for Alert Level 4 are keen on returning to Ōtautahi Christchurch. Cabinet has yet to decide the rules for cross-boundary travel once Auckland moves to Alert Level 3. Students and staff should remain in Auckland until the Health Order is finalised. Further information is available on the government Covid-19 website. We will provide more information once the Health Order is finalised.

UCSA Facebook group: UCSA have set up a private Facebook group – 09 Lockdown Lowdown – for UC students still in Auckland so they can chat and stay connected. The Student Exec are online too. The vibe is relaxed, and the group is a space where students can share anything from a study tip or challenge to a recipe. Join 09 Lockdown Lowdown: https://www.facebook.com/groups/154613880194186

Support for students: If you are aware of students who require support, you can direct them here:

You can find the All Student email here

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui | Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.

Alert Level 2 – Start of term 4 on Monday

Kia ora koutou,

Aotearoa New Zealand is currently at Covid Alert Level 2, except for Auckland, which is currently at Alert Level 4. The Government will review the Alert Levels on Monday 13 September with any decisions announced on Monday afternoon.

Alert Level 2 signals a return to campus for a lot of our community for the start of term 4 on Monday. Things will be different on campus and it will take a few days to get used to some of the new restrictions – please be kind and patient with others who are also getting used to the new rules.

New Alert Level 2 restrictions have been further clarified by TEC for the tertiary institution context. These have been summarised in the information below or you can read the TEC guidelines.

Moving around campus:

Please carry your Canterbury Card with you on campus. You may need it to scan into some spaces.

QR Codes: UC has a QR code distribution strategy that’s being rolled out over the next few days and will be in place from early next week.

It is important that you scan the unique building QR code at the entrance to each building every time you enter (this includes access via link buildings/walkways), and also scan the unique floor level QR code for each separate floor/level that you access within a building, including via stairs, lifts or other walkways.

If you’re in doubt, scan the QR code. This is a requirement of the government as per the Covid-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements). 

Face Coverings:

Physical Distancing: Staff in non-public facing roles should maintain a 1-metre distance from each other. Staff in public-facing roles (e.g., student services and other roles not in controlled learning spaces) should maintain a 2-metre distance from students and visitors, and face coverings are strongly recommended. You might see limits on the number of people in some spaces around campus to allow everyone to move around safely and physically distance.

Posters and digital screens: Poster and digital screen resources are available for your office spaces – Download these from the website

Teaching and learning:

Latest Course Information: Please keep AKO |LEARN sites up to date with the latest detailed course information.

Lectures: Lectures will continue online and will also be held in-person from Monday 13 September. If this isn’t the case please indicate this on the AKO | LEARN site. Students are encouraged to attend lectures online to reduce demand for seats in lecture theatres.

Labs, tutorials, specialist classes and study spaces: These may continue with physical distancing. Where 1 metre of physical distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings are required.

Tests and Exams: Under Alert Level 2, a limited number of tests and exams may go ahead in person with physical distancing. Most tests and exams will be online. Please update course details on AKO | LEARN.

Campus Attendance: Students who are unable to come to campus due to being subject to travel restrictions 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 as soon as possible if they are unable to come back to campus.

Conducting research: All research and related activities are allowed, provided public health control measures for TEOs are in place. At UC, research groups can return to campus if there is an approved Alert Level 2 Health and Safety plan.

Noho marae: Overnight noho marae will not be permitted at Alert Level 2, due to the increased risk of transmission of Covid-19.

Field trips: Day field trips can go ahead if they can adhere to Alert Level 2 safety protocols. Overnight field trips will be considered centrally on a case-by-case basis. Staff will be advised through their ALG representative.

Events and gatherings: Guidelines have been developed to help you plan events in term 4. Read the guidelines.

Today’s email to all students is here

Now that we are at Alert Level 2, IMT will step down as of the start of Monday 13 September. Continue to be kind and patient with each other as we all get used to level 2 restrictions on campus.

Ngā mihi,

Iain MacPherson
Incident Controller

Covid-19 update – Monday 6 September

Kia ora koutou, 

Today Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that all of Aotearoa New Zealand, except Auckland, will move to Alert Level 2 with some restrictions from 11.59pm tomorrow, Tuesday 7 September.

You might remember that last year at Alert Level 2 many of you were able to return to campus to work. Given the extra precautions put in place this time, including face coverings, scanning, indoor venues, and physical distancing, we are awaiting further guidance from TEC. Please be patient as we work through what this means for the University and our return to campus. Tertiary institutions have different guidelines to the general public guidelines. We are preparing campus for a Level 2 opening from Monday 13 September – teaching and learning will be online this week and online and in person (where possible) from Monday.

In the meantime, I suggest you visit the Government’s Covid-19 website to familiarise yourself with the new Level 2 restrictions and make the most of the beautiful Spring weather we are experiencing by going out for a daily walk or taking a break outside in the fresh air.

Support for staff

Thank you to all the staff who filled out the Pulse survey to let us know how you are feeling.

We are currently analysing the results and will share these with you in Tū ki te tahi this week. If you would like support with your wellbeing during this period, please speak with your line manager or contact the services below – they are available to assist if you are not feeling at your best:

  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) – 0800 327 669, www.eapservices.co.nz
  • Chaplaincy services – Reverend Dr John Fox, 027 357 1628, john.fox@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Ministry of Health Need to talk? – Free phone or text 1737
  • Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357 for free, 24/7, confidential support

It can be difficult to know how others are doing when you aren’t seeing each other in person daily. Take the time to connect with your colleagues and your bubble and ask how they are doing. If you feel like you are struggling, let someone know, so the support you need can be made available. We want everyone to return to campus happy and healthy.

Keeping active is an important part of mental health and wellbeing. The UC Rec&Sport App is currently free for all staff until at least 30 September 2021.

Preparing for a return to campus

We are preparing campus for a Level 2 opening from Monday 13 September – teaching and learning will be online this week and online and in person (where possible) from Monday.

As mentioned, IMT are awaiting further guidance from TEC to make decisions about a return to campus. We will update you as soon as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about your return to campus you can discuss this with your line manager or email ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz

Managers are expected to have team Health and Safety plans in place for Monday.

If you require germshield surface cleaner and hand sanitizer, this should be requested through FM Beims system, please do not place your own orders direct with suppliers. For a full understanding of the campus cleaning schedule refer to the UC Covid information page.

Vaccines

You can book an appointment to get your vaccine now. You don’t need to use sick leave to attend a vaccination appointment or to take a family member to be vaccinated.

More information

The UC Covid information page is regularly updated and has a wealth of information. If you have any questions about UC’s Covid response, please email ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz or speak to your line manager.

Today’s email to all students is here.

For the latest information visit the Government Covid-19 website.

We will be in touch again soon.

Ngā mihi,

Iain MacPherson
Incident Controller

Covid-19 update – Tuesday 31 August

Kia ora koutou, 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed that all of Aotearoa New Zealand, except Auckland and Northland, will move to Alert Level 3 from 11.59pm tonight.

The Incident Management Team and the Vice-Chancellor have decided how teaching and learning, and the university’s other operations, will proceed under the lower alert level, based on the latest guidelines provided by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). The Alert Level 3 guidelines have been updated from those introduced last year, acknowledging the more infectious nature of the Delta variant.

Access to campus

Under Alert Level 3 all teaching, assessments, meetings and other usual on-site activities will continue to be carried out online wherever possible.

However, a process has been developed in line with the new TEC guidelines to ensure some safe access to the University of Canterbury campus on a very limited basis.

Academic staff can apply to carry out teaching and research activity on campus or as field work under Alert Level 3.  This will be limited to postgraduate research students, final year honours students and in specialised programmes, final year undergraduate students.  

  • This will only be available for teaching and research that cannot be carried out online and will be limited to groups with a maximum size of 10 people including staff.
  • Access to campus under Alert Level 3 will be strictly managed and we encourage staff to read and thoroughly familiarise themselves with the process to prevent any inconvenience.

For more detailed information about the application process, click here.

Please note that processing and review will be required for each application. Staff will be notified of the outcome as soon as possible, but this may take several days.  Please email level3access@canterbury.ac.nz with any questions or concerns.

Accessing campus for equipment

During Alert Level 3, staff can arrange to collect their personal chair from their office.

To collect your chair, please report to security and the security team will guide you to the building for access. Please remember to bring your chair back upon your return to campus.

If for any reason you’re unable to access campus for pickup, please email UC Protect to request a delivery.

Bubble management on campus

If a class, workshop or lab that cannot be delivered online is granted permission to be held on campus, the number of people involved must 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 mask wearing, are being met.

  • Classes will be limited to two hours and with shared equipment sanitised between use.
  • Everyone must sign in and out at Security each day and they must scan the building QR Code and swipe their identification cards to access spaces. This is required in order to enable contact tracing of individuals in the event of possible exposure to the virus.
  • Students and staff may travel within their region to attend class or work.

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 students require this service or need more information, they can 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.

Support for staff and students

Thank you to all the staff who filled out the Pulse survey to let us know how you are feeling. We are currently analysing the results. In the meantime, we would like to remind staff whose wellbeing might not be so good to reach out for help through your line manager or through the services that are available such as:

  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) – 0800 327 669, www.eapservices.co.nz
  • Chaplaincy services – Reverend Dr John Fox, 027 357 1628, john.fox@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Ministry of Health Need to talk? – Free phone or text 1737
  • Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357 for free, 24/7, confidential support

This can be a tough time for us all, so make sure you take opportunities to get fresh air and connect with your bubble and colleagues.

Keeping active is an important part of mental health and wellbeing. Just a reminder that all staff can now access the UC Rec&Sport App for free until at least 30 September 2021.

Vaccines
Don’t forget to book your appointment to get your vaccine if you haven’t already. You don’t need to use sick leave to attend a vaccination appointment or to take a family member to be vaccinated.

More information

The UC Covid information page is regularly updated and has a wealth of information. If you have any questions about UC’s Covid response, please email ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz or speak to your line manager.

Today’s email to all students is here

For the latest information visit the Government Covid-19 website.

We will be in touch again soon. Dealing with uncertainty is difficult and it’s okay to not be at your best at the moment. What is important is that you look after yourself and those around you.

Kia aroha ki te tangata
(we extend care and empower others),

Leanne Keenan
Incident Controller