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COVID-19 information for students

Whakamahukitanga mo te Mate Kurahauao – Mō ngā tauira

Today the Government decided to move to Orange Level.
Visit 13 April 2022 daily update for the latest details

Get tested

Updated: 17 February 2022

Anyone with cold or flu like symptoms, no matter how mild, should get tested for COVID‑19 and isolate at home until a negative test result is returned. This includes anyone who is vaccinated.

You should also get a test if you have been at a location of interest.

The most common early symptoms of the Omicron variant are a sore or scratchy throat, and a runny nose. If you have these symptoms, please get tested as soon as possible.

Testing is available throughout New Zealand. Search for a nearby testing venue.

COVID‑19 testing is free.

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Exposure to COVID‑19 – what steps to take

Updated: 18 February 2022

If you have tested positive for COVID‑19

Exposure to COVID-19 – what support is available

With COVID-19 now in our community we have pulled together a range of resources to help you if you need to self-isolate.

Support including information on financial support, mental health and wellbeing, and resources to keep you entertained are available on our COVID-19 website.

COVID-19 welfare website

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Teaching from Monday 2 May 2022

From Monday 2 May, the University is returning to teaching on campus in most circumstances.

For Dunedin and Invercargill students, your new timetable and locations for teaching are available today in eVision, while for other students, information will be shared by your lecturers and course co-ordinators.

Please note that many of the locations for your lectures, workshops, seminars and labs may have changed as we can now use our full capacity of teaching classrooms.

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Guidelines from Monday 2 May 2022

Updated: 29 April 2022

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccines

Mandatory vaccinations are required only for the following groups from Monday 2 May:

  • Activities and buildings on our campuses where a government Health Order still applies (e.g., health services)
  • For staff in Disability Information and Support, as these staff work closely with students at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19
  • For researchers (staff and students) working with populations at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (e.g., people with disabilities or cancer patients)
  • For researchers (staff and students) involved in studying the COVID virus itself


From Monday 2 May, face masks are mandatory (unless exemption applies) for the following groups:

  • Staff in Disability Information and Support, as these staff work closely with students at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19
  • Researchers (staff and students) working with populations at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (e.g., people with disabilities or cancer patients)
  • Researchers (staff and students) involved in studying the COVID virus itself
  • Customer facing workers in cafes, retail and Unipol
  • Customers in retail shops e.g. the Campus Shop
  • Staff and users of the Hocken Library (as it is open to the public)

For all other staff and students, face masks are strongly recommended at all other times while indoors.

Masks are an important tool to keep ourselves and others safe in situations where physical distancing is not feasible; while case numbers remain high in our community; and during the upcoming winter cold and flu season.

The University community is made up of a wide range of people, including students and staff who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of catching COVID-19 or who live with people who do.

A large proportion of the community has not yet caught COVID-19, and even those who have had it can be reinfected. Wearing a mask is a very simple way we can look after each other.

As an overarching principle, it is strongly recommended you wear a face mask when indoors around other people. This applies particularly whenever you are seated next to someone in a lecture theatre or library, moving around a building, in shared and public spaces where people are in close proximity, or in other situations where is hard to physically distance from other people such.

Whether people around you are masked, wearing a mask provides personal protection and those wearing a mask should be treated with respect.

Overall, for our personal and community good, please consider our core public health measures to reduce the risk of infection: vaccination and boosters, mask wearing, physical distancing where possible, mask wearing and staying at home if unwell/symptomatic.

A reminder: if you have tested positive for COVID 19, we can help with support and health advice if you let us know by contacting AskOtago on 0800 80 80 98 or +64 21 279 0202

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For information on research, including mask use and fieldwork guidelines, please see information on our COVID-19 staff webpage.

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There are no capacity limits in our libraries from Monday 2 May.

However, libraries are only open for staff and students with the exception of the Hocken Library which will be open to the public. Masks are mandatory in the Hocken Library and strongly recommended in all other libraries.

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On-campus businesses

Our on-campus business including cafes and Unipol are open and operating without capacity limits or physical distancing from Monday 2 May.

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Contact tracing

Although contract tracing is not required under Orange Level, all University buildings will retain QR Codes at present. It also recommended that staff and students are logged into the University Wi-Fi when on campus, should contact tracing be needed.

COVID‑19 Contact Tracing – Privacy Statement

COVID‑19 Contact Tracing Information means information collected in electronic and paper-based COVID‑19 building access registers, and derived from the University’s IT network, timetabling and electronic card access systems, which identifies physical proximity between individuals on campus capable of increasing the risk of transmission of COVID‑19.

As with all personal information collected by the University, COVID‑19 Contact Tracing Information will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993 and the University’s Policy on Access to, and Use of, Personal Information.

COVID‑19 Contact Tracing Information is collected and accessed by the University for the purpose of contact tracing aimed at decreasing the risk of transmission of COVID‑19, and may be supplied to the Medical Officer of Health and/or appropriate government agencies for those purposes.

COVID‑19 Contact Tracing Information will be securely stored and permanently deleted once no longer reasonably required for contact tracing purposes.

As a business we are required to provide data to contact tracing teams.

Contact tracing upload tool privacy statement for businesses and organisations (PDF)

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