Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that can cause pneumonia. Know the symptoms and call your GP or Student Health urgently if you think you have been exposed.

Coronaviruses are a large and diverse family of viruses that originate in animals but are known to infect people and cause respiratory illness. Coronaviruses include the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, leading the World Health Organisation to announce a pandemic.

There are cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, but with continued vigilance the Ministry of Health expects the chance of widespread community outbreak to remain low.

The University is closely monitoring the global outbreak of COVID-19 and is working with health authorities and following their advice. The University has up-to-date procedures in place to manage events of this type, and our response can be scaled up as necessary. We will continue to update our website and social media as the situation develops.

More information about COVID-19 at the University

The symptoms and duration of novel coronavirus

Symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus are similar to those of a range of other illnesses such as influenza and the common cold. They include:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing.

Difficulty breathing can be a sign of pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

Current World Health Organisation assessments suggest that the time between contracting the virus and seeing symptoms of the virus varies between 1–12.5 days, with median estimates of 5–6 days between infection and symptoms.

The incubation period for the virus is considered to be 14 days. This means if you have not had symptoms within 14 days after possible exposure, you are unlikely to have the virus.

What do I do if I think I have the virus?

If you are unwell and have reason to believe you have COVID-19, students are asked to contact Student Health by phone (not in person) on +64 4 463 5308 or call your GP, or the dedicated Ministry of Health line for health-related calls about COVID-19 0800 358 5453, or from a mobile +64 9 358 5453. You can also visit the Ministry of Health website for more information.

How to protect yourself

The key to keeping yourself safe is practising good hygiene and hand-washing techniques, including:

  • washing hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or hand sanitiser
  • coughing and sneezing into your elbow or a tissue, rather than your hands, and putting the used tissue straight into a lined bin and washing your hands
  • avoiding close contact with anyone who has fever and a cough
  • staying at home if you have flu-like symptoms.