Coronavirus

covid19.govt.nz

NorthTec is working closely with relevant government agencies and we are consistently following their advice to ensure the welfare of all our students, staff and community.

This page has been set up to provide information for about COVID-19. It will be updated on a regular basis.

The Government has announced that the country is now at Alert status Level 2. In line with the Government advice recommending a phased return to life at Level 2.

Are classes running on campus?

NorthTec students and staff will continue to study and work from home as much as possible until advised otherwise. 

We expect remote learning to continue except where there are practical requirements for you to be on campus to complete aspects of your training and qualifications. Where a return to campus is necessary, your tutors will have or will be in the process of making contact with you to inform you of this. Please note if you have not been asked to return to campus your classes will continue online with your tutors.

We would like to reassure you all that if you have started a qualification, we will support you and provide opportunities for you to successfully complete it. We have been planning for this situation and we are developing strategies to help students through this time, and to ensure that you are not disadvantaged.

 

NorthTec Level 2 Requirements

A limited number of staff and students will have been advised they are allowed onto our campuses from Monday, 18 May, for the reasons outlined above, but must observe the following requirements:

  • Stay home if sick - Please do not come to campus if you are sick, or if you have been in contact with anyone who is sick. 

  • Induction process - All students and staff coming onto campus must complete a health and safety induction. Your tutors will take you through this. 

  • Hand hygiene - Remember to wash your hands frequently, using soap and water for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser, which will be provided by NorthTec. 

  • Physical distancing - You will need to ensure that you keep a one-metre distance from other students or staff if you are together for 15 minutes or more. You must distance yourself two metres from people you don’t know.  

  • Gatherings - There is no maximum for class sizes as long as physical distancing can be maintained. However any gatherings outside of classes must consist of 10 people or fewer. 

  • Contact tracing - NorthTec is required to hold registers of all those attending our campuses, so that you can be contacted by us or the Northland District Health Board if need be. Your tutors will keep attendance records.

Student support services will continue to operate remotely. The cafes at Raumanga and Dyer Street, the library and the Red Barn Gym will all remain closed at this point, so you will need to bring your own drinks and food.

For further information about Level 2, please see https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-system/alert-level-2

Tips for managing your mental wellbeing

  • Reach out to your usual supports(family and whānau, friends and workmates) through calling or social media. Sharing how we feel and offering support to others is important.

  • Keep to usual routines – mealtimes, bedtime, exercise and so on.

  • Keep active – Getting exercise and going outdoors can improve general wellbeing and help distract from distressing feelings. Tell yourself that how you are feeling is a normal reaction and will pass – it is nothing to be afraid of.

  • However, if over days and weeks your distress or stress symptoms are escalating or you feel you are not coping, help and professional support is available.

  • For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Further Information

The Government has launched a new website with everything you need to know about COVID-19. Learn the simple steps you can take to unite against the virus and help to slow its spread. Find out what help is available and get reliable information about the situation.

covid19.govt.nz

For further information please visit the following websites:
New Zealand Ministry of Health
World Health Organisation
 
In order for us to keep you updated with current information, please make sure NorthTec has the most up-to-date email address for you in our system. If you need to update your email contact information, please contact: enrolments@northtec.ac.nz.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we mix bubbles at Level 3?

Under Alert Level 3, you can slightly extend your bubble. These people do not need to live in the same household, but must be local. Always keep your bubble exclusive, and keep it small.

For more detailed information - https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-system/alert-level-3/#personal-movement

Can we travel in Level 3?

Travel is limited to within Northland and even then keep it just short distances – you cannot go and stay at your bach or holiday home – stay in your bubble, which is your home.

For more detailed information- https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-system/alert-level-3/#travel-and-transport

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 include mild to severe respiratory illness, similar to influenza. This includes:

  • Fever; OR

  • Respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing

The Ministry of Health website has the latest information including who should self-isolate and symptoms (under the Health and advice for the public)

What can I do to protect myself?

The best advice is to practise good hygiene and hand-washing techniques, including:

  • Wash hands thoroughly (at least 20 seconds) with soap and water, then dry thoroughly; or, use a hand sanitiser

  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue (rather than onto your hands), then put the used tissue straight into the rubbish, then wash your hands

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus

If you have flu-like symptoms, stay at home

What financial assistance is available?

The Government announced on 14 April 2020 a package of financial assistance for tertiary students:

  • Increasing the student loan amount available for course-related costs for full-time students from $1,000 to $2,000, on a temporary basis, to help cover extra costs. These course-related costs must be spent on things to support your learning at home, like internet costs and increased energy consumption. Please note that this will form part of your student loan and will need to be repaid. You will need to contact StudyLink about this: www.studylink.govt.nz

  • Continuing support payments for students unable to study online for up to 8 weeks. This gives time for education providers like NorthTec to make alternative arrangement for distance learning for these students. This support is also available via StudyLink.

  • Making changes to funding systems to ensure that you do not lose your future entitlement to student loans, if your course is discontinued due to Covid-19 and you receive a partial fees refund this year.

  • Making sure that you are still entitled to fees-free tertiary study (first year under the current Fees-Free tertiary scheme) if you are unable to complete your studies this year due to Covid-19.

Full details are available at Ministry of Education.

Financial support for those that meet criteria is also available via the Ministry of Social Development. Don’t forget that NorthTec has a Student Hardship Fund: contact slemon-connew@northtec.ac.nz for details.

What should I do if I think I have the virus?

If you are unwell and you have symptoms (see MoH COVID-19 symptoms) then you should contact Healthline at 0800 358 5453.

Healthline will provide you with advice on what to do next. If you are referred on to a GP (general practitioner) call Student Health or your GP. Do NOT just appear there in person.

Please complete the NorthTec online form if you haven't done so already and a staff member will be in contact with you to discuss how we can best support and care for you during this time, along with any concerns you might have about missed classes, fees, visa issues, sick leave and so on.

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

Go to a testing centre if you have symptoms of COVID-19. If you are very unwell you should not go to a testing centre but should phone your GP practice. Do not present to a hospital just for testing.

The centres are for testing only and will not be providing medical care or assessment. If you are feeling unwell and are sick enough to normally see your doctor please call your GP for an appointment. For more information on Covid-19 and updates on Community Testing Centre locations and opening hours please visit www.northlanddhb.org.nz or the Ministry of Health website: www.moh.govt.nz

What does self-isolate mean?

Self-isolation is an effective precautionary measure to protect those around you – your family, friends, and colleagues – from contracting COVID-19. It means taking simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible, like you would with the seasonal flu virus.

Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. This means any situation where you may come in close contact with others (face to face contact closer than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes), such as social gatherings, work, school, child care/pre-school centres, university, faith-based gatherings, aged care and healthcare facilities, prisons, sports gatherings, restaurants, and all public gatherings. For more information on self-isolation, please visit the Ministry of Health’s webpage on self-isolation.

If you are unsure if you should be self-isolating, please contact Healthline (if you are in New Zealand) for free on 0800 358 5453.

What is social distancing?

Keeping your distance from others during the Covid-19 pandemic is a vital part of slowing the spread of the virus because its survival depends on us passing it to one another.

  • Avoid contact with others. Keep at least a 2 metre distance from others.

  • Stay at home if you can

You can go outside, to the supermarket and non-populated places (such as the beach) as long as you keep a reasonable distance from others. It’s also important to avoid touching your face and wash your hands after you’ve been out in public.

Should I wear a mask to protect myself?

The World Health Organisation advises to only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. Disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely.

What is a coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation advises that Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The World Health Organisation advises that people can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 2 metres away from a person who is sick.

How long is the incubation period for COVID-19?

The World Health Organisation describes the “incubation period” as the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. WHO advises that most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days. These estimates will be updated by WHO as more data become available.

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