Risk factors and advice

Advice for staff and students who may be at risk of exposure to 2019-nCoV returning to New Zealand after 2 February 2020

The Ministry of Education has advised staff and students from New Zealand tertiary institutions who may be at risk of exposure because they have recently been to China, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with the virus, to delay the start of their study or work year for 14 days and voluntarily stay away. We have clarified the following scenarios to help you understand what to do:

Who is at risk of exposure?

Those arriving in New Zealand after 2 February who have travelled from mainland China (directly or via another country) in the previous 14-day period, or those who have a history of close contact with a confirmed case in the previous 14 days. Those identified as having a risk of exposure should take Ministry of Health advice and self-isolate. The Ministry of Health will be publishing further details on self-isolation on its Q & A page.

Staff with a risk of exposure

Staff members who have a risk of exposure (as defined above) should work from home for 14 days to avoid coming to campus. Stay in contact with your manager throughout this time.

If you have been at risk of exposure and start to feel unwell, telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 611 116.

Advice to other members of our community

The World Health Organization advises people to follow these basic principles to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infection:

  • avoid close contact with people suffering acute respiratory infections
  • wash hands frequently, especially after contact with ill people or their environment
  • avoid close contact with sick farm animals or wild animals
  • people with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practise cough etiquette: maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, wash hands.

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