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COVID-19 – Update for students 22 March 2020

March 22, 2020

Kia ora koutou,

I wanted to update you on what this week looks like in light of the weekend’s COVID-19 developments. The Prime Minister has announced an alert system for COVID-19 and advised that New Zealand has moved to Alert level 2. This is the phase where the disease is contained but risks are growing as more cases are confirmed. With that, new measures have been introduced. There is full information available here.

What does this mean for EIT from 23 March 2020?

We have been planning for this, and here are the key decisions EIT has made that affect you as a student:

  • EIT is still open

We are guided by the Ministry of Health on this, and today they are saying that we should continue to be open. 

Should a case be identified in EIT’s learning locations, this will change.  However, at the moment, the advice from the Ministry of Health is to continue our teaching and learning. 

We have increased our online and remote learning opportunities to support you in your learning. If it becomes necessary start dates and assessments will be reviewed and adapted. You can find the most common FAQs on our website.

For any programme-specific queries please speak directly to your programme coordinator or email your questions to covid19@eit.ac.nz.

Please keep yourself informed and continue to consult the FAQ pages on our website, check EIT’s Facebook page, EIT’s website and your email inbox for updates.

  • Students aged 70+ or those with other existing medical conditions are strongly advised to stay at home.  More information from the Ministry of Health is available here.
  • Students who have recently travelled.  As a reminder, if you have arrived in New Zealand within the last 14 days please continue to self-isolate.
  • All EIT domestic travel is being minimised so that only essential travel will occur. 
  • We are aiming to increase social and physical distancing. 
  • Physical distancing is encouraged. Maintain distance from others as best you can, continue to practise good hygiene, and stay at home if you feel unwell. 

Please be reassured that we are prepared if there is a confirmed case at EIT. If a case is confirmed in our immediate EIT community (e.g. a student, staff, etc.), the Medical Officer of Health and Ministry of Education will inform EIT about this, and we will work together to get quick and clear messaging out to you. In this case, we will likely be asked to close temporarily by the Medical Officer of Health. This will allow time to trace for close contacts, undertake appropriate testing and a careful clean of the campus. If one of our campuses does need to close temporarily, we have already planned for various scenarios to support students without significantly disrupting your studies.  This is dependent on the nature of programmes but please be assured that wherever possible there will be alternative learning opportunities provided to enable you to keep engaged with your programme.

As a reminder, our cleaning efforts have increased across all campuses and regional learning centres and include the following measures:

  • High use areas will be cleaned during the day, focusing on high-use areas (e.g. door handles).
  • Paper towels will replace cloth rollers.
  • Additional bins will be introduced for the disposal of paper towels.
  • Hand sanitizer bottles will be available in large computer labs. Regularly washing your hands, is still the best prevention for these surfaces however.
  • Our campuses in Auckland and Tairāwhiti and the Regional Learning Centres extending their cleaning by hiring extra cleaning staff, and extra cleaning in toilets and high traffic areas.

Telecommunications companies have also lifted their data limits, so this should help you if you need to increase your online study. 

Check them out here:

We know that the COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, and understand that this can seem overwhelming. Please be assured that we will do all we can to keep you informed and supported in your studies. It is normal to feel stressed or anxious in these situations. For support call or text the free national service on 1737. This is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for you to talk  with a trainined counsellor. For COVID-19 health advice and information, contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453.

We recognise that this is a changing situation and we will be constantly reviewing our teaching and learning in line with the most up to date information and continue to communicate with you. 

Please keep yourself informed and continue to consult the FAQ pages on our website, check EIT’s Facebook page, EIT’s website and your email inbox for updates from us.

Ngā mihi and take care

Brenda Chapman
Executive Director – Marketing