COVID-19 — Response and Information. More info

COVID-19

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

Following updated health advice, the current 'stay-at-home' orders apply to all people in Greater Sydney including Blue Mountains, and Wollongong. The Central Coast and Shellharbour are classified as Regional NSW

This means that SMBC (Croydon and Roberts-Dale) is temporarily closed for physical traffic.  However, please note, we're still very much open 'remotely', so please don't hesitate to contact us via admin@smbc.edu.au  or telephone on 02 9747 4780.

Semester 2 lectures are temporarily all online until we are advised by the government of alternative options. We are keen to have students back on campus as soon as we are allowed and it is safe to do so. The College executive meet (over Zoom!) regularly and will advise everyone as soon as we possibly can!

The Kerr Library is also temporarily closed for physical access, but there are many electronic resources available for students and a limited click and collect service.  Please email library@smbc.edu.au for any assistance you may require.

 And a reminder from NSW Health: Everyone in Greater Sydney must stay at home and not travel for more than 5 kms from your home unless it is for an essential reason.  The reasons you may leave your home include:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services;
  • Medical care or compassionate needs (people can leave home to have a COVID-19 vaccination unless you have been identified as a close contact);
  • Exercise outdoors
  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.
  • Attending a small funeral or memorial service or wedding service that complies with the specific rules about the service.

Rules and Restrictions for where you live and what you do

This information is changing  regularly, so please  click here to view areas  of concern and additional restrictions in these Local Government Areas

Masks

For Greater Sydney (including many regional areas of NSW):

Mask wearing will be mandatory when outside your home, except when exercising.

Learn more about the NSW rules here

There are limited exceptions, such as where you are in a vehicle with members of your household or your nominated visitor (‘singles bubble’), when exercising and in emergencies.

Additionally,

  • 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.
  • Movement and Gatherings (including State border closures) See https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
  • Essential service personal 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. 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! The campus is currently closed ( but open remotely - see above .  However, 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?

Due to the current public health order SMBC campuses and the Library are closed to non - residential students.

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 must wear a face mask indoors  and outdoors in all greater Sydney areas  and on public transport. 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?

Yes! Masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings and outdoors unless exercising strenuously, including workplaces and common areas in apartment blocks. You can remove your mask when working alone in an office (until another person enters), or when eating or drinking.

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

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 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?

The College is temporarily closed, but open remotely - so email or phone us!

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, getting vaccinated, physical distancing of 1.5 metres. washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds and wearing a mask are the best defences against the spread of covid.

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 residential 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 temporarily closed. In the meantime please don't hesitate to contact to library for help, accessing online resources, the limited click and collect service or other general queries at  library@smbc.edu.au or visit the Kerr library website

When the library does reopen you will need to

  • declare you don’t have any cold/flu symptoms
  • sanitise your hands upon entry
  • sign in using QR code on arrival at SMBC
  • ensure you keep 2 arms-length apart
  • clean your desks before and after use
  • wear a mask

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?

Currently, Semester 2, The Associates program and The Bridge are fully online. We will review as the government advises.

Normally, you would 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.

 

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 currently no changes to due dates for assignments. Currently, 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. We'll let you know if this changes.

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 ?

Please contact your lecturer or registrars for information on exams.

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

Does SMBC have open events ( Information Sessions) for prospective students during the year?

Yes, 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

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 (SMBC) is an Affiliated College of the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS: 02650E
ABN: 11 000 047 950