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23 • 03 • 2020
Up Education

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Since then, cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) have been confirmed in New Zealand. The Ministry of Health advises that, with continued vigilance, the chance of a widespread outbreak is low.

To help respond to COVID-19, the New Zealand Government has now put in place an alert system.

New Zealand is moving to Alert Level Four on Wednesday 25 March 2020.

Significant restrictions are now being put in place. Level four means people have been instructed to stay at home, educational facilities are closed, businesses are closed except for essential services and travel is severely limited.

New Zealand’s borders are now closed to almost all travellers, with the exception of New Zealand citizens and permanent residents, their partners and/or dependent children. Every person entering New Zealand must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

While we will endeavour to update our website regularly with relevant information for our students and parents, please note that the Government’s Unite Against COVID-19 website should be your first port of call for health and status information.

Information for students studying with us

In line with the direction of the New Zealand Government, UP Education campuses in New Zealand will be closed from Tuesday 24 March 2020. The Government has indicated it will review this decision on Monday 20 April 2020.

While our campuses aren’t physically open, all UP Education schools remain open and operating in terms of continuing the delivering education to our students. We will be doing this through the streamed delivery of classes. Students are being communicated with on how this will work.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is our absolute priority and we will continue to monitor the situation closely and follow all protocols advised by Government.

In addition, we are committed to continuing to support those students affected by travel restrictions by providing flexible start dates and delivering online learning so they can continue their studies.

FAQS

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a range of other illnesses, such as influenza. Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19, but it is important to seek medical advice if you have them, especially if you have recently been out of New Zealand.

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing.

If you feel unwell, DO NOT MIX WITH OTHERS and call Healthline’s COVID-19 line or contact your GP.

Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages:

  • Free call 0800 358 5453
  • +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS

How can you prevent the risk of COVID-19 spreading?

COVID-19 spreads through droplets from coughing or sneezing, just like the common cold and flu. In order to prevent it spreading, we all need to take simple steps. These include:

  • Avoiding close contact with people with cold or flu-like illnesses.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing.
  • Washing 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.

Go to the Government’s COVID-19 website for more information about preventing the risk: www.covid19.govt.nz

What to do if you’re concerned you have symptoms?

If you have the symptoms, and have recently been to a country or area of concern, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, DO NOT MIX WITH OTHERS OR COME TO CAMPUS and call Healthline’s COVID-19 line on:

  • Free call 0800 358 5453
  • +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS

Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages.

If you intend to visit your GP or after-hours medical centre, phone ahead to let them know.

More health advice and virus prevention information is available on the Ministry of Health website:

COVID-19 health advice for the public – Ministry of Health

What to do if you need to go into self-isolation?

Self-isolation requires someone to stay at home. Staying home is a precautionary measure to protect those around you – your family, friends, colleagues – from possibly contracting COVID-19.

Self-isolation is an effective measure of prevention. As much as possible, you should limit your contact with people other than the family members/companions you travelled with. You should avoid having visitors to your home, but it is okay for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food and supplies at your door.

If you are in a home where the others who live with you haven’t travelled or been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should minimise close contact with them by avoiding situations where you have face-to-face contact closer than 2 metres and for no more than 15 minutes. The other household residents do not need to self-isolate provided these precautions are followed.

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, pillows or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water, place them in the dishwasher or washing machine.

For more information visit the Ministry of Health section of Self Isolation.  https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-health-advice-general-public/covid-19-staying-home-self-isolation

What travel information applies to me?

The New Zealand Government has closed the New Zealand border to almost all foreign travellers.

Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis by Immigration New Zealand for:

  • Humanitarian reasons
  • Health and other essential workers
  • Citizens of Samoa and Tonga for essential travel to New Zealand
  • The holder of a visitor visa who is the partner or dependant of a temporary worker or student visa holder, and who normally lives in New Zealand and is currently in New Zealand

New Zealanders overseas who are intending to return home are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

Any person entering New Zealand must self-isolate for 14-days.

New Zealanders are advised not to travel overseas at this time. The New Zealand Government has raised its travel advice to “do not travel” – the highest level – regardless of destination.

New Zealanders overseas are advised to register their details with SafeTravel, in order to receive notification of any changes made to travel advice.

See the New Zealand Government coronavirus web page for further information: COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) – New Zealand Government

What you should do if you have travel or visa related questions?

Temporary restrictions on travel remain in place as a precautionary measure.

If students or parents have visa-related questions, they should check Immigration New Zealand, which provides updates on the visa situation through its website: Travel and visa advice – Immigration New Zealand

Will domestic or international students be charged if they need go to hospital to be tested?

As COVID-19 is now a notifiable infectious disease, treatment for people who have, or who are suspected of having, COVID-19 is publicly funded under the infectious disease exception. This covers anyone in New Zealand, regardless of visa/citizenship status or length of time in the country.

More information is available on the Ministry of Health’s website: People receiving treatment for infectious diseases – Ministry of Health

What you can you do to look after your mental wellbeing during this time?

It is natural to feel anxious as a result of COVID-19 and it is important that you take care of your mental wellbeing.

More advice for managing mental wellbeing is available on the Ministry of Health website: Managing your mental wellbeing – Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health also offers a 24-hour ‘Need to talk?’ helpline staffed by mental health professionals. This is a free number or call or text at 1737 at any time: Need to talk? Free phone or text 1737 – Ministry of Health 

There is also an NZ Government COVID-19 support factsheet, and more information on their website: COVD-19 support factsheet – NZ Government