Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The health, safety and well being of our students, staff, and visitors is very important to us.

  • Stay informed. Download the official government 'Coronavirus Australia' app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join our WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.
  • Please read the Health, SMBC Study, Events, and Travel  Frequently Asked Questions below.
  • Students, please also watch for updates on the student moodles.
  • If you have any cold or flu-like symptoms you need to self isolate for 14 days. We recommend you contact your health professional, the Health Hotline on 1800 022 222 or your local hospital emergency department.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any concerns on email or 02 9747 4780.

Frequently Asked Questions

HEALTH

Where can I get the most accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Australia?

The Australian Government Department of Health has the most accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19, including links to local state and territory information. Download the App and see other helpful links below.

I’ve had a bit of a sore throat and other mild cold/flu-like symptoms. Can I see other people or visit College?

No. You need to stay away  for 14 days from the onset of symptoms. And if you’re a remaining residential student, you need to self isolate from communal areas until your symptoms have passed. Lectures are now all online, so a skeleton staff only remains on site.

(Note, the LIbrary is now closed to the public. See more about the library in the study questions below.)

The Australian government’s Health Direct website also advises people who have developed a fever or other respiratory symptoms to self-isolate.

You should also self-isolate if you’ve had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, if you’ve returned from any overseas country, or you’re waiting for test results. According to Health Direct: “even if you have a negative result, you should complete the whole 14 days of self-isolation.”

This will help to prevent the spread of any virus particularly to any vulnerable people in our community. Please also contact your local doctor for advice or call the information Health hotline on 1800 020 080.

I’ve tested positive for COVID-19, or am awaiting results. Can I go for a walk? (Note: This is an extract from Sydney University FAQs)

The short answer is no. We want people in this situation – those who have tested positive to COVID-19 or are awaiting test results – to remain in their houses, preferably in the bedroom and avoid interacting beyond those four walls.

You should avoid interacting with the delivery people.

Yes, you can go out to the garden, but if you must cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow and wash your hands. Simply breathing while in the garden is unlikely to, for example, spread it to your neighbour’s garden.

But if people in this category cough and sneeze on their hand and then touch a door handle or a mug, it could spread the virus to the next person to touch that handle or mug. So you must wash your hands often, with soap, to reduce the risk of passing it around to other household members.

People who have tested positive to COVID-19, or are awaiting test results, should not be putting the kids to bed. They should isolate themselves in a bedroom. If they go into a communal space they should wear face masks, avoid contact with others, and wash hands regularly. They do not need to wear their face masks while they are in their bedroom by themselves – but their spouse or others who normally share a room should sleep in a different room during the quarantine period.

If someone walks into the bedroom by accident or opens the door to deliver a tray of food, they are not at risk of being exposed to the virus. But when taking plates and utensils away, the person who puts it in the dishwasher or washes it up afterward (either the unwell person or another household member) needs to ensure they immediately wash their hands with soap and water afterward and clean the surfaces (like the tray) with disinfectant.

You can see more recommendations on the Australian government’s Health Direct website.

In short, people should avoid contact with any person in their household who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is awaiting test results. If an infected household member is continuing to move around the house, then cleaning surfaces is important – particularly door handles, mugs, utensils, counters or any area they may touch. In general, people in these households should exercise a higher degree of caution.

If you have got someone in your home that’s infected, the people most vulnerable are the people over 60 with pre-existing medical conditions - so you should avoid contact with people in that category.

What is ‘self-isolation’?

‘Self-isolation’ is intended to remove direct contact with other people, in order to ensure that the virus is not transmitted. If self-isolating, people should limit their activities outside the home or to public areas. NSW Health provides more information here.

Do I need to be separate from other people in my home if I am self-isolating/in quarantine?

Yes. If you are sharing your home with others, you should stay in a different room from other people or be separated as much as possible. Wear a surgical mask (if available) when you are in the same room as another person, and when seeking medical care. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

Make sure that you do not share a room with people who are at risk of severe disease, such as elderly people and those who have pre-existing conditions such as heart, lung or kidney conditions, or diabetes.

Visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home should not visit while you are isolating.

Is there a possibility that SMBC could be closed for a time because of COVID-19?

Yes. Our priority is to continue lectures and the other wonderful aspects of College through online methods. It’s very possible we may be instructed to go into Stage Three or Four lockdown in the near future

What is SMBC doing to keep students and staff as safe as possible?

We are continuing to follow the advice of relevant health authorities and are working hard to keep our students and staff who have remained on campus updated so they can continue to take relevant precautions as things evolve.

The scope of cleaning, specifically sanitised cleaning, in communal areas has been widened and has distributed hand sanitiser to as many locations as possible.

We will continue these precautionary measures as long as required to help support the health and safety of our community.

As advised by the Australian Government Department of Health, washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds is the best defense against the spread of most viruses and physical distancing of 1.5 metres.

I may have been exposed to COVID 19 – what should I do?

Self-isolate. Please call your doctor, or your local Emergency Department or NSW Health direct on 1800 020 222. They will advise you on what steps to take.

The Australian Government also has a dedicated COVID-19 Health Information Line, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1800 020 080.

Please do not come to College  until you have medical clearance to do so.

Please also contact SMBC: either Jenny Salt (Dean of Students), Mark Adams (Acting Principal), Jono Vink (The Bridge Director)  or Greg Swanton (SMBC General Manager).

What happens if a student or staff member tests positive for Coronavirus?

In the event that a member of the SMBC community is diagnosed with the coronavirus, SMBC will follow the direction of NSW Health. The priority of NSW Health is identifying those people who have had close contact with infectious people, which will necessarily involve informing affected individuals. The health and wellbeing of each person at SMBC is paramount to us.

If required, how will SMBC isolate residential students?

Single residential asymptomatic students who were able to move are now off-campus. While we know this was quite a disruption, it enables us to care for students who are unable to move.  We have identified residential areas on campus we may need to use to isolate students who are unable to return home for the duration of their isolation. We ask you to bear with us in helping keep the community protected.

TEACHING AND LEARNING

I've heard there will be some changes to the calendar for SMBC full-time and part-time students from Monday 23 March. Can you tell me what they are?

Yes, please note the following:

1. Monday 23 March to Friday 27 March is now a Research Week - No Lectures. 

2. Monday 30 March to Friday 3 April - Becomes Week 7 and lectures will now be delivered online (same time of day as per weeks 1 to 6 of lectures).

3. Week 7: No Monday Chapel or World Prayer. 

4. Week 7: Ministry Matters and Principal's Hour proceeding as per timetable via zoom

5. Week 7: Fellowship groups moved from Wednesday to Friday 3 April at 1.00pm

Click here for the COVID-19 revised Semester One calendar

Are the April Intensive units going ahead?

Yes, these intensives will be proceeding so start your reading soon!

However, please note the delivery of lectures will be online. We have made that decision based on government advice, in combination with our conservative approach in reducing the spread of the virus.

Please also don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Is the library open?

The library is closed to public.

Day students are advised to only attend the library if absolutely necessary to access library resources and be aware it is not possible to study there.

Get all the library details and increased services from the library homepage 

Please do not come to the library or the College is you have any cold or flu-like symptoms for 14 days - you need to self isolate.

How are all the lectures being delivered?

Lectures and tutorials will continue online for SMBC and The Bridge replacing all lectures offered in attendance mode.

I’m a remaining residential student.  What happens to me if the College closes for a short time?

We will be following the directions of NSW Health. It may mean a temporary move to another part of the College for those who are unable to move home with family or friends. Our catering team will be in touch with residents who have no access to kitchen facilities.

I’m an international student covered by Medibank who can I call?

Medical assistance from a registered nurse or counsellor is also available to International students via Medibank’s 24/7 Health Helpline. Call from within Australia: 1800 887 283. Please also let your Dean know if you need any assistance.

Can I defer my enrolment date?

No, normal enrolment and withdrawal dates apply. You can withdraw from a unit before the advertised census date for a unit, without academic or financial penalty.

Are there changes to assignment due dates and extension rules? (Especially in view of online changes, travel restrictions and self-isolation requirements.)

There are no changes to due dates for assignments. The dates will stay the same, even though the week of the semester may be different from the original calendar. Assignments are still due on the due date.

However, extensions are available on application. If your studies have been impacted by changes due to coronavirus, and you need extra time to complete assessments, you can request an extension. Note that you will need to supply documentary evidence of the reason for this.

To apply for an extension, complete the standard 'assignment extension form' and submit it to your lecturer electronically, along with any document or explanation applicable. Remember that you need to provide a reason for requesting extensions.

If you need an extension beyond the last day of lectures (or the end date of the unit in the case of an intensive), you should apply for a deferred examination/assessment via the registrar's office.

We are working with the ACT to ensure people are not unduly disadvantaged.

If I have to be isolated, will the ACT penalise me?

No, we will seek to ensure students are not unduly disadvantaged academically due to the incident. Please maintain medical certificates as evidence. (See question above.)

Will exams be delayed?

Following the Academic Board meeting (25/3/20) we are pleased to let you know your end of semester exams in June will be ‘take-home’ style. Take home exams will be typed exams. Special dispensation may be available for people who need to write by hand. We hope this provides some certainty for you.

Who can I contact for more information about my study and course concerns?

Please contact Dave Adams, senior academic registrar, or Anthony Brammall, academic vice-principal, or Jono Vink, The Bridge Director.

INFO EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

Will you still be having info events for prospective students this year?

For sure! More than ever people need Jesus. We plan to have online info events. So come and join us (online) and help us get the word out! Check our Events section for updates. The Bridge had its first live stream info event on Saturday 21 March! The replay is available to view at The Bridge Facebook page.

Additionally, please don’t hesitate to chat with us over the phone on 02 9747 4780 or email and we can tailor your own info session to suit your needs.

How does the Government’s requirement regarding gatherings affect SMBC events and conferences?

Because our events attract different numbers of people, SMBC is erring on a conservative approach for the wellbeing of all and has either postponed or cancelled Semester 1, 2020 events.

If I have registered and paid to come to Hot Topics and they are cancelled due to Coronavirus, will I get a refund?

Yes, you will be refunded.

If I have registered and paid to come to a conference and they are cancelled will I get a refund?

Yes, you will be refunded.

TRAVEL

Can I come to SMBC if I have just returned from anywhere overseas?

No, the Department of Health has advised you must self isolate for 14 days in your home or accommodation from the day you arrive in Australia.

For all information regarding travel please visit the Government Home Affairs page 

I have travelled or am travelling to one of the countries at risk of COVID-19. What should I do?

The government has now banned overseas travel. Visit here for updated information

If you develop symptoms after travelling, please call your doctor, or your local Emergency Department or Healthdirect on 1800 022 222. Tell the person when you call that you have been where you have travelled.

 

WEBSITES

International Health Advice

Australian Health Advice

Travel Advice

Education

Upcoming Events

SMBC, PO Box 83
43 Badminton Road, Croydon NSW 2132
T +61 2 9747 4780
E admin@smbc.edu.au
Sydney Missionary and Bible College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology
ACT Cricos Code Provider: 02650E
ABN: 11 000 047 950