Five University of Auckland students are now in self-isolation at university-managed accommodation as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.
A university spokesperson confirmed this after an enquiry from Craccum, but refused to say which residences are housing these students, citing privacy reasons. However, the spokesperson said other students living at those residences have been notified.
“We have precautionary processes in place on when and how to use communal facilities, and the students are living in rooms separate from others.”
“Meals and groceries are delivered direct to their door.”
“It is important to remember these students are not in quarantine only self-isolation so we are adhering to the Ministry of Health guidelines and recommendations.”
New Zealand, as of last Thursday, has five confirmed COVID-19 cases, with one already been discharged from Auckland Hospital. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic that same day.
The Ministry of Health said last Wednesday that more than 9,000 people or households throughout the country had registered with Healthline to self-isolate. As of that day, 2,145 were still in self-isolation with 6,194 having already completed their self-isolation.
Current Ministry of Health guidelines require those who have been in or transited through mainland China, Iran, northern Italy or South Korea, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days to self-isolate.
Anyone who has travelled from or via Hong Kong, Italy (other than northern Italy), Japan and Thailand do not need to self-isolate unless they have symptoms and meet the clinical criteria.
The University has said on their website that if students are required to self-isolate in the University’s accommodation, they need to stay in their room for 14 days, inform residence staff and discuss their condition with a doctor. It also said counselling services and self-help resources will be available online for those in self-isolation to look after their own well-being.
One student living at O’Rorke Hall confirmed that they have not heard anything from the university on residents self-isolating on site. Another resident at University Hall said they have not been told of any information as well. Two Carlaw Park Student Village residents said they are also not informed by the university of any possible self-isolations. Both students also said health precautions, such as hand sanitizers, are in place.
Auckland University Student Association (AUSA) Education Vice-President Emma Rogers said AUSA are not aware of any self-isolating students, but they are in frequent talks with the University on how to support students.
*If you believe you could have the coronavirus, stay at home and contact Healthline’s dedicated hotline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 on an international SIM).*