Monday 23 March (part 1)

COVID-19 update Monday 23 March (part 1)

This is a message to all students from Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford.

The Prime Minister has announced that New Zealand’s COVID-19 alert level has risen to three and will rise to level four in 48 hours, meaning the country will go into full lockdown.

The 48-hour period is the time required to ensure essential services are in place. Once the country is at alert level four, it will remain there for four weeks.

New Zealand now has 102 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the Ministry of Health has confirmed community transmission of the virus.

The Prime Minister has advised that all New Zealanders must prepare to go into self-isolation to ‘break the chain’ of community transmission.

She also announced that schools will be closed from tomorrow and that universities are required to close as soon as possible. Any lectures, tutorials, or other face-to-face teaching scheduled for this afternoon should be cancelled while we prepare for closure.

I will be holding discussions with the Tertiary Education Commission and other vice-chancellors shortly to understand in more detail what this means for universities.

I will update you as soon as possible.

Professor Grant Guilford
Vice-Chancellor of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington