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Ara COVID-19 Alert Level 2 Updates

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Kia ora learners

Following the government announcement on Wednesday afternoon we returned to Alert Level 1 as of 11.59 pm Wednesday 17 February 2021.  Our Incident Management Team (IMT) has been stood down, but is ready to meet again as required.

My thanks to all colleagues and learners for your quick response this week so we could continue to operate under Alert Level 2, and support each other.

General reminders:

  • We will not hold any organised activity which exceeds 100 people for the remainder of this week.
  • Please keep scanning the QR code and ensure that Bluetooth tracing is turned on. Our ICT Service Desk can be contacted if you require any technical support.
  • It’s important we all maintain hand washing hygiene. Please stay at home if you feel unwell and follow Ministry of Health directions here.

Ara has Operating Guidelines for Alert Level 2 and Alert Level 3 to ensure we are prepared for any future Alert Level changes. Our guidelines for Alert Level 3 are being reviewed by IMT this week.

The latest Ministry of Health detail about Alert Levels is available here. For details specific to Ara, please keep visiting myAra and our website.  If you have any other questions or concerns, please talk with your tutor in the first instance.

Thank you again for your support and commitment to the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and learners.

Tony Gray - Chief Executive


Monday 15 February 2021

Kia ora learners

Our Incident Management Team (IMT) sub-group met this morning and has re-confirmed our Operating Guidelines for Alert Level 2. These are available here on Waituhi and apply until 11.59pm on Wednesday. Please take a few minutes to make sure you are familiar with the guidelines as there are some minor updates.

The IMT is now reviewing our Operating Guidelines for Alert Level 3 to ensure we are prepared for any escalation of alert levels. We will meet again mid-week and will follow government announcements and directions regarding any changes to alert levels or our activities.

A few reminders as we begin working within Alert Level 2 Guidelines:

  • We will not hold any organised activity which exceeds 100 people during this week. This means that unfortunately we will not proceed with the Mihi Whakatau at Woolston on Wednesday and our Graduation ceremony in Timaru has been postponed. If you have an event where over 100 people will attend this week you must make suitable alternative arrangement.
  • All Ara campus locations remain open for colleagues, learners and the public. There will be additional security and cleaning happening across our sites to keep everyone safe. Please keep a 1m distance from others where practical.
  • Our AIR colleagues will ensure that appropriate flexible arrangements are able to be put in place for vulnerable learners where appropriate.
  • We encourage everyone to be vigilant about noting your location using the QR codes and ensuring that bluetooth tracing is turned on.  Our ICT Service Desk can be contacted if you require any technical support.
  • The Ministry of Health recommends learners bring face masks and wear them as appropriate on site, particularly where physical distancing is difficult.
  • Travel outside Canterbury (with the exception of our site in North Otago) should be delayed until further notice, unless you have agreement from myself or the Incident Controller.

The latest Ministry of Health detail about Alert Levels is available here. We will provide ongoing updates this week as required and encourage you to refer to myAra and our website for the latest detail.

We recognise that this can be an unsettling time for everyone so please continue to look after each other and stay safe. If you have any questions or concerns please talk with your tutor in the first instance.

Tony Gray - Chief Executive


Sunday 14 February 2021

Kia ora colleagues and learners

Following the government announcement this evening on the changes to Alert Levels from 11.59 pm tonight a sub-group of our Incident Management Team (IMT) will meet early tomorrow (Monday) morning.

This sub-group will review our approach to Alert Level 2, as well as prepare for any worst case scenario should Alert levels be further raised this week; decisions about Ara activities this week will be based on government guidelines.

At this time all our campus sites remain open to the public and all colleagues and learners can come to our sites and attend classes as planned. We will manage classrooms, classroom groups and all Ara sites in a practical manner.

I’m asking colleagues who have business travel outside of Canterbury to delay this until further notice, unless you have agreement from myself or our Incident Controller (Darren Mitchell).

Below are a few reminders for everyone as we move to Alert Level 2:

  • The QR codes for the Contract Tracer app remain in place and we encourage you to continue to use these each time you are on site.
  • Please continue to be careful with your own personal health and hygiene; stay at home if you are not well and seek medical advice if you need to.
  • You are encouraged to maintain physical distancing of 1 metre from others, as much as this is practical to do; classroom/practical sessions will be closely monitored over the next few days.
  • There should be no organised group activity that exceeds 100 people.

We will provide a further update tomorrow morning following the IMT sub-group meeting. This will include our updated Operating Guidelines for Alert Level 2.

Please continue to look after each other and stay safe.

Tony Gray – Chief Executive