Novel Coronavirus - Information for Staff and Students

You will no doubt be aware of the most recent COVID-19 Government Update, advising that New Zealand is now at Alert Level 3 and will be shifting to Alert Level 4 on Wednesday 25th at 11.59pm.

In light of this, we will now be closing the campus to students from close of business Monday 23 March.

The key details you need to be aware of are as follows: 

  • Student swipe card access will be deactivated from close of Monday 23rd. We understand that this is an immediate action and a change of plans from our last notification to you, so if you require special access on Tuesday to prepare for our close down of campus, please call reception on 09 303 0402.  
  • Teaching will be suspended on Tuesday 24th March as our faculty prepare for remote delivery.
  • We know that learning will be disrupted this week for most students, so your tutors are working hard to factor the changes into your learning plans going forward.  Our priority at this moment is to ensure everyone is in a position to learn safely and effectively from home, and to respond to the directive from the NZ government. 
  • Your Programme Leaders and tutors will advise you of your class’s learning plan going forward in the next 2 days. Some students will learn remotely next week, while others will have an extended mid-semester break. They will also be in touch with each class to communicate with you around the hardware and software requirements that are specific to your course and to help you prepare to learn remotely.  
  • As previously communicated, all programmes will be on break from Monday 6th April to Friday 17th, with remote delivery recommencing for everyone on Monday 20th April.

Preparing to learn from home
The shift into remote learning may present challenges for some students, so we want to remind you that we are here to support you as best we can throughout this process.  We want to ensure that all students have a safe space from which to work, so if you do have any concerns about learning from home,
 please reach out to your Programme Leader. We are committed to assisting you to ensure you can continue to learn. 

You will receive an additional update tomorrow with more information around IT set up, Student Services, and possible avenues for resourcing equipment. 


We are here to guide you throughout this process. 
This is a challenging time for everyone, but remember that support is here. If you have general questions or concerns about our immediate plans, you can email or phone 09 303 0402.

Our wonderful School Counsellor, Flora, is available to help you work through any feelings of stress and anxiety you may be experiencing and can provide sessions via Skype or Zoom. Simply email to get in touch with her.  

Prevention - how to protect yourself and others: 

The Ministry of Health has suggested the following practices: 

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds).
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, sharing cups or food with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.
  • Stay home.
  • Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any symptoms.


Travel Advice 

New Zealand's Safe Travel advisory now advise that all New Zealanders do not travel overseas at this time due to the outbreak of COVID-19, associated health risks and travel restrictions.

You'll find more detail about travel restrictions here.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza. Having any of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19.

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, a dedicated Healthline 0800 number for COVID-19 health advice and information has been set up.  

The number is 0800 358 5453 (or for international SIMs +64 9 358 5453). 

It is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

People calling that line will be able to talk with a member of the National Telehealth Service. They have access to interpreters.

You should call that dedicated number:

  • to register if you have self-isolated yourself
  • for any coronavirus health advice and information and any questions you have about coronavirus, self-isolation etc.

Healthline’s main number is still the one to call for non-coronavirus health concerns – 0800 611 116.

Whichever number you call, you will get professional health advice and information.

Managing your mental wellbeing 

Media coverage or public discussion of COVID-19 may affect you. It’s normal to feel distressed and experience symptoms of stress in this time. The Ministry of Health has issued a number of tips on managing your own mental wellbeing:

  1. Spend time in places that feel safe and comfortable as much as possible.
  2. Tell yourself that how you are feeling is a normal reaction and will pass – it is nothing to be afraid of.
  3. Reach out to your usual supports – family and whānau, friends and workmates. Sharing how we feel and offering support to others is important.
  4. Keep to usual routines – mealtimes, bedtime, exercise and so on.
  5. Keep active – going to work, doing usual leisure activities and seeing friends can improve general wellbeing and help distract from distressing feelings.

Don't forget that, if over days and weeks your distress or stress symptoms are escalating or you feel you are not coping, all Media Design School's network of support is here to help you.  Students can speak with Student Support on L17 and staff can access the EAP at any time. You can also call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Where can I get more information?  

While we are working hard to keep this page updated as we receive new advice, the Ministry of Health's website is your best source of up to date information. 

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