COVID-19 — Response and Information. More info

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Your health, safety, and well-being are very important to us.

Updated NSW COVID safe measures for Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and the Blue Mountains). effective Monday 17 May

  • There are no restrictions on dancing and singing at venues and events including, weddings, funerals and memorial services. Organisers of venues and events must continue to be COVID safe.
  • Masks are no longer be compulsory on public transport or for customer-facing staff in hospitality venues, but always feel comfortable wearing one if you’d prefer. However, masks remain compulsory in NSW at airports and for domestic airline travel.
  • You may have up to 100 visitors at a time in your home. The total number of visitors includes adults and children.
  • Up to 200 people can gather in an outdoor public place such as a park, reserve, beach, garden or public space.
  • Stay Informed. Download the official government 'Coronavirus Australia' app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join the Fed government WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android. Visit the NSW government COVID-19 website https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19 for the latest local status of case locations (including public transport route potential exposures to COVID-19.)
  • Have Cold/Flu Symptoms?  If you have any cold or flu-like symptoms get tested for COVID-19 and self isolate. We recommend you contact your health professional, the Health Hotline on 1800 020 080 or your local hospital emergency department. Please note: Even if you test negative for Covid-19 yet still have any cold or flu-like symptoms, we ask you to stay away from College.
  • The NSW Government strongly recommends wearing a face mask in situations where you cannot physically distance). The NSW government requires face masks to be worn at airports and on commercial domestic flights. $200 fines can be issued by police for failing to comply. 
  • Practise Physical Distancing and Wash/Sanitise Hands. Keeping 1.5 metres from each other and washing hands often is one of the best defences for avoiding COVID-19.
  • On Arrival at SMBC or The Bridge at the Roberts-Dale campus.  It is a requirement that you register using the SMBC QR code on the Service NSW App with your name, and contact details. Scan codes are spread all around our campuses for you to register. If you don't have a smart phone, then you must register using the device provided in the campus dining room.You must also scan if you are eating meals in or from our dining rooms, every time you have a meal. This information will only be used to assist NSW Health in contact tracing should it be required. This applies to all visitors, contractors, suppliers, students, spouse, families and staff.
  • Please Read the Health, SMBC Study, Events, and Travel FAQs below.
  • Students, please also watch for specific Covid updates as they relate to College life called The Latest on the student moodles. The Bridge team will also update students on specific information. Importantly, should SMBC or The Bridge be closed for a brief time because of COVID (like what happens at schools from time-to-time), we aim to continue lectures and the other wonderful aspects of College through our off-campus and hybrid learning methods.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions (not covered below)  via email or 02 9747 4780.

Frequently Asked Questions (Health, Teaching and Learning, Events etc)


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. Localised NSW requirements may be found at https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19.

If I just have a cold can I come to SMBC or The Bridge?

No! Even if you have only very mild symptoms like tiredness or a sore throat, get tested for COVID! Please don't assume it's just the common cold or the flu. Even if you have tested negative and still have a cold or flu, please do not come to College.

Can I visit friends at SMBC if I'm not a student or staff member?

SMBC campuses and Library are now open to the general public, provided you sign in when you come on campus using one of the SMBC QR codes and the ServiceNSW App, practice good hand hygiene whilst here, and can declare that you don’t have any cold/flu symptoms.

What are the recent rules about gathering, travelling, and businesses?

As  the NSW  rules change according to case numbers please visit NSW Health

When you go out, wherever possible stay 1.5 metres away from other people at all times.  You might like to wear a face mask if you can't physically distance. Keep sanistising your hands and wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds when you get home.

Do I need to wear a face mask?

The NSW Government strongly recommends the use of face masks in situations where you cannot physically distance (for example on public transport or indoors at a public place). Face masks are still required at airports and onflights

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!  Stay home! NSW Health encourages you to be tested for COVID 19.  If you’re a residential student, you need to self isolate until all your symptoms have passed, no matter how minor they seem.

Even if you test negative for Covid-19 yet still have any cold or flu-like symptoms, we ask you to stay away from College.

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?

No. If you're waiting for results or have tested positive to COVID-19 you need to self-isolate, unless you require medical attention.  Remain in your residence, preferably in the bedroom, and avoid interacting beyond those four walls.

You need to avoid interacting with delivery people. 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. 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.

When someone else in the household takes food 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 and those with pre-existing medical conditions - avoid contact with people in that category.

What is ‘self-isolation’?

‘Self-isolation’ is the intentional removal of direct contact with other people, in order to ensure that the virus is not transmitted. When 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 or The Bridge could be closed for a time because of COVID-19?

Yes, but if that does happen, our priority is to continue lectures and the other wonderful aspects of College through our off-campus and hybrid learning methods.

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

In 2021 we are continuing to follow the advice of relevant health authorities and are working hard to keep our students and staff updated so they can continue to take relevant precautions as things evolve.

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

Residential students and staff are advised to let the SMBC General Manager aware they have been for a COVID test and when they get the results back.

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 defence against the spread of most viruses and physical distancing of 1.5 metres.

I've heard there is a Public Order regarding spitting and coughing. What is it?

It is called:  Public Health (COVID-19 Spitting and Coughing) Order 2021

It directs that a person must not intentionally spit at or cough on public officials or other workers in a way that is reasonably likely to cause fear about the spread of COVID-19.

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

Get tested and 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.

Visit the Australian Government 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.

If you're a student or staff member, please also contact SMBC: either Jenny Salt (Dean of Students), Mark Adams (Pastoral Vice-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 are paramount to us.

If required, how will SMBC isolate residential students?

We have identified residential areas on campus where we may need to use to isolate students. 


TEACHING AND LEARNING

Is the library open?

The library is open student, staff and the general public provided they:

  • are able to declare they don’t have any cold/flu symptoms
  • sanitise their hands upon entry
  • sign in using QR code on arrival at SMBC
  • ensure they keep 2 arms-length apart
  • clean their desks before and after use

Please don’t hesitate to chat with the library team with any questions or enquiries you may have. Get all the library details and increased digital services from the library homepage 

 

How are all the lectures being delivered?

Lectures are available for people on-campus (face-to-face) including The Bridge, off-campus (online) and hybrid mode.

You will need to nominate which mode you'd prefer when you enrol as mode switching is not permitted during semester.

For various reasons, SMBC students, please note the following:

Study Mode-switching:

  • At the point of enrolment in a unit, you will need to choose to enrol as either an on-campus student or an off-campus student. Once you have enrolled in a mode, you need to 'stick with it' for the unit.
  • Access to the zoom link will be available to all students (on-campus and off-campus), but on-campus students are asked to only use this link if they are unwell or if there are other exceptional circumstances.

Study Mode-mixing:

  • Full-time students will not be able to enrol in some on-campus and some off-campus units. However, exceptions to this may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Part-time students are able to enrol in some on-campus and some off-campus units.

Please don't hesitate to chat with our registrars with any questions about switching either from 'off campus' to 'on campus ' or 'on campus'  to 'off campus' lectures.

Should your lecturer be holding his or her class from home due to cold or flu-like symptoms, in most cases we’d still like on-campus students to attend the actual lecture room as normal rather than to Zoom in. This is because it allows for greater learning in community and less technological disruption. Please chat with Anthony Brammall or Mark Adams with any concerns.

I've heard there is a loan fee discount for six months. Is that correct?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of the Higher Education relief package, the loan fee exemption applies until 30 June 2021, and undergraduate studies after that point will incur a 20% (instead of 25%) FEE-HELP loan fee.

For more information, see https://www.dese.gov.au/job-ready/job-ready-graduates-frequently-asked-questions

Please chat with our registrar team for all the details.

I’m a  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. However, 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.)

How will exams work ?

The Academic Board are finalising semester 1, 2021 exam information and this will be communicated to relevant students from the registrars shortly.

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

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

For sure! More than ever people need Jesus.

Check the events page for all the dates.

We also have an Online Info Session here. So come and join us (online) and help us get the word out! Check our Events section for updates. The Bridge had its live stream replay is available to view at The Bridge website.

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.

OVERSEAS /DOMESTIC TRAVEL

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

No, the Department of Health has advised you will have 14 days of compulsory isolation in a hotel from the day you arrive in Australia.

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

How do I know which state borders are open and closed?

As this information can change based on case numbers, please check with the relevant State government websites

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

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


WEBSITES

International Health Advice

Australian Health Advice

Travel Advice

Education

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