Tertiary and international COVID-19 bulletin
1 February 2022
Tertiary and international COVID-19 bulletin
COVID-19 Protection Framework settings
All of New Zealand is currently at Red.
Case and contact management for tertiary providers
Toolkit and step-by-step guide for tertiary providers
‘Managing COVID-19: A public health toolkit for tertiary providers’ and ‘Step-by-step guide for managing COVID-19 in tertiary settings’ were released today.
The toolkit and guide provide information on what tertiary education and student accommodation providers should do at each of the three phases of the Government’s plan for Omicron when they have had a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case on site.
These resources were developed by the Ministry of Health, with support from the Ministry, TEC and NZQA.
Case and contact management: Approach from 8 February
The new approach to case and contact management in the tertiary sector outlined in the toolkit and step-by-step guide will take effect from 8 February.
Under the new approach, tertiary providers will play an active role in case and contact identification of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case on site. Providers will need to pull together information about the contacts of a case.
- identifying people that may have had contact with the case, as well as how long they may have been in contact for
- what type of setting they were in (and if it was well ventilated if indoors, and so on)
- if they were wearing masks.
In Phase 1 and 2 of the public health response to Omicron, providers will need to upload this information to an online national contact database. Providers will also need to notify close contacts, and their provider community, should a case arise.
Education agencies will assist providers as they undertake case and contact management. Tertiary education institutions (wānanga, Te Pūkenga subsidiaries and universities) will be supported by TEC, and private training establishments will be supported by NZQA. These agencies will be providers’ “Single Point of Contact” (SPOC) for case and contact management. The SPOC role is to walk through case and contact management processes with providers and help them meet the expectations set out in the toolkit throughout Phases 1-3. Local public health units may also help assess public health risk (though their capacity to do so is likely to decrease as pressure on them increases in an Omicron outbreak).
Prior to 8 February, we recommend that providers familiarise themselves with the toolkit and step-by-step guide linked above, and prepare for case and contact management at each of the three phases.
We wanted to make the toolkit and step-by-step guide available as soon as possible to assist providers in their preparations for Omicron.
We are still working with the Ministry of Health through some areas of guidance for Phases 2 and 3 – including on principles that providers should consider in deciding whether to shift some or all of their learning online, and guidance on self-isolation and managing COVID-19 cases in student accommodation.
We will make this guidance available as soon as we can.
Case and contact management: Approach until 8 February
Until 8 February, please continue to follow the current approach if you identify a case on site.
If a COVID-19 case is linked with a tertiary education or accommodation facility, the provider will be contacted by the Medical Officer of Health or their local public health authority.
If a tertiary provider becomes aware of a case associated with their education or accommodation facility and they have not received notification from health authorities, they should immediately contact the TEC or their local public health unit:
COVID-19 guidance for providers
We have recently received a number of queries from providers on matters that are covered in our COVID-19 Protection Framework guidance.
As a reminder, you can find guidance on our website at the following link:
We will be providing supplementary guidance on matters other than case and contact management for tertiary providers on the Government’s three-phase plan for Omicron shortly.
Be prepared for COVID-19
Whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, everyone should prepare for what they need to do if they get COVID-19.
The Unite against COVID-19 website has resources to help you.
Travelling and COVID-19
While vaccination is highly effective, it is still possible to get COVID-19.
You may get it while you are away from home, even if you are following the rules. You should prepare for what you may need to do if this happens.
Email address for queries
All tertiary and international COVID-19 related queries can be emailed to us through our central mailbox COVID19.TertiaryandInternational@education.govt.nz.