Running Programs Under Covid-19
Running our programs under Covid has made things somewhat more complicated!
We have, however, put in place a detailed plan to safely deliver our programs and keep students and staff as safe as we can given the circumstances.
We have ensured our plan is aligned with the New Zealand government mandated Covid-19 alert levels. (See www.covid19.govt.nz for full details). Since the start of the pandemic New Zealand has been one of the leaders in managing the outbreak, and the risk levels are much lower than many other parts of the world.
Under these guidelines we believe it is safe to offer our programs at Level 1 or 2, but at all times we are ready to move up one or more levels.
Level 1 - Prepare
Be ready in case COVID-19 reappears in our community.
- Good personal hygiene practices (regular hand washing / sanitizer & coughing sneezing into your elbow) apply at all levels.
- Keeping track of where you have been.
- Apart from that there are no restrictions.
Level 2 - Reduce
The disease is contained, but the risk of community transmission remains.
- Under Level 1 or 2 the programs would run as usual, including the regular field trips and visits to public places.
- Within public guidelines students will be free to travel during time off.
- Public gatherings or events will be limited to 100 people.
- Social distancing is mandatory at level 2, as is contact tracing.
Level 3 - Restrict
High risk the disease is not contained.
- A move to level 3 would require a tightening up of the program and from that point significant restrictions would apply.
- Program restricted to the field centre from where studies would continue in a combination of face to face and online delivery.
- If this occurred while on a field trip or time off students would return to the field centre.
- At level 3 a priority would be isolating students in 'bubbles' of eight to minimise risk of transmission where students may have become infected.
Level 4 - Lockdown
Likely that the disease is not contained
- Students remain locked down in their bubbles at the field centre and continue the program via on-line learning.
- It is possible, however, that students are recalled by their home universities, in which case the remainder of the program would be delivered on-line.