Kia ora koutou,
We are getting there! Regions outside of Auckland will shift into Alert Level 2 from 11.59pm tonight, Tuesday 7 September, with a review of settings on Monday 13 September. Auckland will remain in Alert Level 4 until Monday 13 September; we extend our aroha and care to our colleagues who are based in Auckland – stay safe up there and please reach out if you need support.
Return to campus
UC will reopen from tomorrow, allowing time for a phased and safe return to campus, and adherence to the updated guidelines that minimise risk and help Aotearoa to fight Covid-19.
We have done this before. You may remember from last year’s return to campus in Alert Level 2 that line managers submitted Health and Safety plans before staff returned. These plans are underway again, with support from People & Culture, and are being updated for the current situation.
Before coming back to campus, please check that your manager’s Health and Safety plan has been completed.
Some of us will be eager to get back to campus and our familiar office environment, while others may need more time – if that is you and your role permits it, please discuss working from home with your manager.
Alert Level 2 guidelines
We understand from the TEC’s most recent guidance (6 September) that the following guidelines apply. TEC guidelines are updated here.
- Class sizes: The social gathering limits of 50 indoors 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 class.
- Contact-tracing: remains critical. UC is responsible for ensuring detailed contact tracing information for every student, staff member, and visitor on campus. 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: Face coverings mustbe worn in libraries, student health services, pharmacies, banks, and other retailers on campus. Face coverings are strongly recommended at all other times, including in teaching and learning spaces, research and laboratory spaces, and shared office spaces where practicable, but they are not mandatory. If in doubt, best to wear a face covering.
- 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 approved.
- Noho marae:Overnight noho marae will not be permitted at Alert Level 2, due to the increased risk of transmission of Covid-19.
Teaching and learning
- Please keep your LEARN sites updated as this is where students will look for updates and detailed course information.
- Lectures will continue online and will also be held in-person (where possible) from Monday 13 September. However, students will be encouraged to attend lectures online to reduce demand for seats in lecture theatres.
- Labs and small specialist classes will continue with physical distancing. In some circumstances face coverings may be required. In this case students who haven’t brought their own masks can obtain one from the security office.
- Tests and exams may go ahead in person, with physical distancing if possible, but an online option will be made available for those who cannot attend in person or if room capacities do not allow.
- Assessment due dates will not change.
- 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 as soon as possible if they are unable to come back to campus.
- Please keep in mind students who would like to be back but must remain in Auckland due to Level 4 restrictions. Many may be concerned that they are being disadvantaged. An encouraging message and support to those students would be welcome.
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.
The team is planning to open on Thursday 9 September at 6am – please check the UC Rec&Sport webpage for updates.
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 – check here for more. The Foundry will open from 2pm – 7pm on Friday 10 September.
Based on current health guidance regarding ventilation UC is adjusting their mechanical ventilation systems to increase fresh air flow into buildings where possible. The changes are aimed at limiting the airborne transmission of the Covid-19 virus and will be implemented by the FM team over the coming days. This process may result in some changes to building temperature. If you have any questions send them to FMAssist@canterbury.ac.nz
Under Alert Level 2, domestic business travel may proceed but only with SLT approval, if deemed essential, and only to other regions under Alert Level 1 or Alert Level 2.
Face covering exemption
A medical assessment is not needed for a face covering exemption, so please don’t refer students to the Health Centre for a certificate.
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.
The Ministry of Health continues to remind everyone to please remain vigilant and stick to the basics:
- If you’re sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school. Do not socialise.
- If you have cold, flu or Covid-19 symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about getting tested.
- If you have been told to self-isolate, you legally must do so immediately.
As we transition back to Alert Level 2, IMT remains in control until Monday 13 September.
Today’s email to all students is here.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we respond to a fast-changing situation. Give yourselves a pat on the back for getting this far and hopefully we will see you back on campus soon.