Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Being on campus at Alert Level 2
New Zealand is at Alert Level 2 from midday on Wednesday 12 August.
Remember to be kind, compassionate, patient and respectful to others. We will continue frequent communication with our staff and students.
Can I attend the University of Waikato campus in Hamilton or Tauranga?
Yes. Following the Government announcement that New Zealand’s response to Covid-19 is returning to Alert Level 2 from midday Wednesday 12 August, the University of Waikato remains open and classes continue at Alert Level 2. We are continuing to operate within Government guidelines in the same way we did previously at this level.
Students, staff and the wider community can be assured that we have good processes in place for this move to Level 2, and we planned ahead of B Trimester to ensure we have flexible learning, smaller classes and remote learning options available.
Do I have to scan the QR codes around campus?
Yes. We need you to 'check in before you step in', to help with contact tracing across our campuses.
If you don't have a smartphone, you can check in using a computer. Find out more about using our QR codes.
Do I need to wear a mask now?
If you have your own mask or face covering (like a bandanna, scarf or other home made face covering), we encourage you to wear it if you are in a space where you can’t physically distance, for example on public transport or in shops.
The University has a limited supply of masks and will be supplying these to areas where we know it will be challenging to keep 1 metre apart. However we recommend you provide your own if you can.
What is happening with teaching and learning at the University?
Teaching and learning in B Trimester continues in the same way at Level 2 as with Level 1.
Where we can, we have already organised classes for this trimester to ensure there is enough room for students and staff to maintain appropriate physical distancing, and remote learning options available if you need them.
Can I still use the University's facilities?
What is meant by 'physical distancing'?
Physical distancing means keeping at least 1 metre away from other people while you are inside, and 2 metres away from other people while you are outside.
If you are in situations where you can't maintain this distance, we recommend you wear a mask or face covering.
Health and hygiene
I feel unwell, what should I do?
If you are feeling unwell, please contact your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and ask if you need to get tested for Covid-19.
Do not attend the Student Health Centre, Student Nurse, or any other medical facility in person. This is because you do not want to infect others if you do have Covid-19 or another illness. Phone first to get advice.
Students can contact the Student Health Centre on campus with any questions or concerns:
Staff can also contact their local medical practice with any questions or concerns.
What does 'practise good hygiene' mean?
The best way to ward off any illness is good hygiene.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
- Use a face covering such as a mask, scarf or bandanna if you are in an area where adequate physical distancing is difficult or not possible.
- 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, shaking hands, hugging, hongi, sharing cups or food.
- Practise social distancing - avoid contact with groups or large numbers of people.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.
Testing and self-isolating
Testing widely for Covid-19 is a positive, proactive measure by the Government that will help to contain any community outbreaks. It’s important to remember the majority of Covid-19 test results are negative.
Where can I get tested for Covid-19?
I've been advised to get tested for Covid-19. Do I need to tell someone?
If you have been instructed by your doctor or Healthline to get tested, follow their instructions.
You should let the University know that you are being tested, so we can report a suspected case to the Ministry of Health, which we are required to do:
- Students should phone Student Services on 0800 WAIKATO (0800 924 5286) or +64 7 838 4176.
- Staff should tell their line manager and contact Human Resource Management.
You must immediately self-isolate at home until you know the results of the test. You must then follow your doctor’s instructions when you receive your test results.
If the results are negative for Covid-19, stay at home until you are well.
If the results are positive for Covid-19, the Ministry of Health will provide guidance on next steps. The Ministry and District Health Board will also conduct contact tracing.
What should I do if I have been in contact with someone who is being tested?
Unless you are a close contact of someone suspected of having Covid-19, it is not necessary for you to self-isolate.
You should continue to practice good hygiene, including washing hands frequently, avoiding handshakes, hugging and hongi. Social distance of one to two metres should be maintained where possible.
However, if you do feel unwell, stay at home, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and ask about getting tested.
What is meant by a 'close contact'?
A close contact is any person with the following exposure to a suspected, confirmed or probable case during the case’s infectious period without appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE):
- Living in the same household or household-like setting (e.g. shared section of a hostel) with a case
- Face-to-face contact in any setting within 2 metres of a case for 15 minutes or more
- Having been in a closed environment (like a classroom, office, lecture room, meeting room, vehicle) within 2 metres of a case for 15 minutes or more.
Find out more about close contacts.
What should I do if I have been in close contact with someone suspected of having Covid-19?
If you have had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of Covid-19, you will be contacted by the Ministry of Health or your local District Health Board's Public Health Unit through the contact tracing process.
They will provide you with instructions on what to do next. This will usually involve self-isolating for 14 days from the last date of contact with the confirmed case - which means separating yourself from others in case you become unwell. You will also be asked to monitor your health, and to contact your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you experience signs of illness.
Find out more about self-isolation for close contacts.
Should I tell people if I know of someone who has tested positive?
It is important to respect the privacy of those being tested for Covid-19, or those who test positive. It is up to the individual if they choose to let others know they are being tested. The University will not release personal details of any students or staff who are feeling unwell.
It is not until someone tests positive that the Ministry of Health and District Health Board will lead the process of letting those in close contact with the person they know.
Understandably, it can be a stressful time when either a staff member or student must be tested. Please look after yourself and be mindful and respectful of everyone on campus.