16 March 2020

Covid-19: Important Information for the Laidlaw Community

Click here for the latest updates from Laidlaw on COVID-19 Response.

Originally posted 16 March 2020

With the developments over the last few days regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19), we are taking next steps as a College to protect our community, prepare for likely disruption, and to live out what it means to be a Christian community during a pandemic. 

Please read the following important notices carefully.

1. Approaching Covid-19 as a Christian community 

Our calling as people of the Gospel is to live distinctively in simple but profound ways. Three central teachings of the Christian life are very appropriate for this season.

Firstly, Christians are instructed not to fear. We are exhorted throughout Scripture to be strong and courageous in the face of all of life – we are to be compelled by love, not driven by fear or worry.

As such, we seek to live prudently and wisely – considering our interactions and how we treat each other on social media, in conversation with family and friends, and as we seek to understand and respond to this global pandemic ourselves. Let us encourage one another to “fear not, for the Lord is with us”.

Secondly, we need to consider carefully what ‘loving our neighbour’ looks like in this time. The care that each of us takes to prevent illness spreading (including potentially embracing significant personal inconveniences like self-isolation), may be a life-saving act of love for our vulnerable neighbours. If the situation worsens, neighbour-love will become more costly – calming fear, offering wise care for the sick and providing for other needs.

Finally, let us pray. For our leaders, front-line workers, the vulnerable and the fearful, for one another and for ourselves.

May we as a College, and as the wider Church, be known as a community not bound by fear, but motivated by love of neighbour, and committed in prayer.

2. Etiquette on campus

  • Coming to campus

If you are unwell or have been required to self-isolate, please stay off campus, and let us know by emailing [email protected] and your lecturers.

Please read conditions of entry onto the campus and should any of these circumstances apply to you then please fully comply with the instructions and not return to campus until you are healthy and (where applicable) have been cleared by appropriate medical professionals that you are well enough to return. In loving our neighbour, please do not ignore or make light of these requirements.

  • Personal hygiene and social distance

Please ensure you wash and dry hands regularly, and use hand sanitiser provided on campus. Please take your individual responsibility for maintaining your own personal health and hygiene seriously at this time.

Maintain social distance, as an act of love of neighbour. This includes limiting physical contact (handshaking, hugs, etc).

3. Contingencies for classroom delivery and teaching

Should you be required to self-isolate then the College will work with you to provide learning resources or online access to classes as is deemed appropriate by your Head of School for your course of study. Most of this material will be provided via Moodle which you will need to ensure you can access from home during your period of isolation. 

The College is working on contingency plans should we need to temporarily suspend on-campus classes. These plans will aim to minimise, as much as is practically possible, any disruption to the campus timetable and to facilitate provision of teaching to students via the existing technology platforms already in use within the College (Moodle, Starleaf, Microsoft Teams and Zoom).

4. Contingencies for placement

If you think you may have been in contact with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), through someone at your internship, practicum or placement, please seek advice from Healthline on 0800 358 5453, and notify [email protected]

For the most up to date information about Covid-19 from the Ministry of Health please refer here

Should your placement or practicum provider suspend operations temporarily then you are expected to comply with all health requirements including self-isolation. The impact of any suspension or required isolation on a student’s learning hours will be taken into account by the College and we will work with the student on a plan to make up the hours at an appropriate time in the future.

5. College Events

We are actively reviewing all College events, and will be responding to government advice on gatherings.

6. Travel - domestic and international 

At this stage there is no restriction on domestic travel within New Zealand.

As you will be aware, people returning from international travel are now required to self-isolate for two weeks. We are strongly discouraging Laidlaw students from international travel. If you are planning to travel overseas, please discuss any international travel plans you may have with your Head of School, practicum coordinator or programme administrator.

The College is reviewing its travel policy regularly in light of government announcements and travel restrictions. It is possible that further travel restrictions will be put in place at short notice should that be deemed appropriate by the College.

7. Please remain calm and continue to pray

Please keep up to date with Laidlaw College’s response to the pandemic by reading all Moodle or email communications sent.

May we as a College, and as the wider Church, be known as a community not bound by fear, but motivated by love of neighbour, and committed in prayer.

Dr Roshan Allpress 

National Principal