COVID-19 Response: SMBC is monitoring the coronavirus situation closely and taking advice from the relevant authorities. More info

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

  • 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.
  • Have 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.           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.
  • Wearing Face Masks: The NSW Premier strongly recommends wearing face masks on public transport and in places where physical distancing is difficult.
  • 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.  If you're not a residential student or staff member, you will need to register with your name, your mobile or email,  and the date and time. This information will only be used to assist NSW Health in contact tracing should it be required, and is destroyed after 28 days.

  • Please Read the Health, SMBC Study, Events, and Travel FAQs below.

  • Students, please also watch for specific updates called The Latest on the student moodles. 

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.

If you are feeling unwell, you should not visit other people at home.

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.

Do I need to register when I come to SMBC for an information session or any other purpose?

On arrival at SMBC you will need to register with your name, your mobile or email,  and the date and time.

This information will only be used to assist NSW Health in contact tracing should it be required, and is destroyed after 28 days.

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

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

If you go out, stay 1.5 metres away from other people at all times. Wash your hands as soon as you get home.

Do I need to wear a face mask?

The advice from the NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant specifically recommends:

  • the use of face masks in indoor settings where physical distancing is hard to maintain, such as on public transport or in supermarkets
  • the use of face masks (where practical) in indoor settings with a higher risk of transmission, such as for the staff of hospitality and customer-facing venues i.e. cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs
  • during attendance at places of worship.

Wearing a mask in any of these settings is not mandatory but is highly recommended, especially in areas where there has been community transmission.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said a mask is not a substitute for physical distancing.

“People should continue to maintain their physical distance – it is our most effective weapon. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t maintain your physical distance you should wear a mask,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“It is critical the community understands masks should be used in conjunction with other measures, and not as a standalone measure.”

Masks should be considered a “fourth line of defence” after staying home if unwell and getting tested, maintaining 1.5-metre social distancing and good hand hygiene.

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 encourage you to be tested forCOVID 19.  If you’re a residential student, you need to self isolate until all your symptoms have passed, no matter how minor they seem. Lectures are online and a skeleton staff remains on site.

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

We know it’s hard, that under our COVID-19 arrangements the only people who should be on either of our campuses (Croydon and Roberts-Dale) are ONLY those who need to be there for certain purposes.

(Note, the Library is 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?

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 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 our off-campus learning methods.

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 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.

Can we sing and play musical instruments in Principal's Hour?

Unfortunately, wind instruments are not to be used. Group singing is also not permitted for the time being. There is also a 3 metre physical distancing recommendation by NSW health for playing music. For all the details visit NSW Health

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 2020

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?

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 David Burge (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 we may need to use to isolate students. In addition, residential students have been placed into households aimed at containing any suspected cases or outbreaks of COVID-19. 


TEACHING AND LEARNING

Is the library open?

The library is closed to the public and currently there are limited face-to- face services for students . Pre-booking is essential. Get all the library details and increased digital services from the library homepage 

How are all the lectures being delivered?

Lectures and tutorials will continue in our off-campus  mode for SMBC replacing all ACT lectures offered in attendance mode. This includes Semester 2, 2020. The Bridge students returned to the Roberts-Dale campus in second semester.

In semester ,1 2021, lectures will be available for people in face-to-face mode (on-campus) or if required, in off-campus mode.  

I'm a student at SMBC. Can I use a lecture room to study on campus?

Yes, it may be possible depending on numbers. There is limited space in W2 and W3. Please refer to the student moodle for all the details

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 federal government has proposed a six-month exemption from the government's 25% loan fee (census dates 1 April to 30 September). If the legislation is passed, it will reflect a lower overall debt for undergraduate students. This is encouraging news if you're thinking about commencing or continuing a diploma or degree course at SMBC starting in July 2020 (Semester 2). 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 ?

End of semester exams will be ‘take-home’ style. Take home exams are typed exams. Special dispensation may be available for people who need to write by hand. Students: please keep an eye on the Student Moodle for any updates.

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

Please contact Dave Adams, senior academic registrar, or Alan Mugridge, Acting 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.

With the lifting of some restrictions, we are having some small face-to-face and zoom SMBC information sessions in  September, October and November. The Bridge (18 to 21s) program will also have face-to-face info sessions. Check the events page on the SMBC website smbc.edu.au 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 

Which state borders are open?

This information changes regularly 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