Robyn Edie / Stuff
Manu Reiri, a freshman nursing student at the Southern Institute of Technology, was supposed to start his baccalaureate nursing course on Monday, but was delayed for at least a week due to Covid-19 restrictions.
More than 120 baccalaureate nursing students have seen their start of classes delayed as the Southern Institute of Technology works through the impact of Covid-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions.
SIT’s Bachelor of Nursing course, which has 124 freshmen, was scheduled to start on Monday, but has now been postponed until next Monday, provided Invercargill returns to Alert Level 1.
Other SIT courses, however, proceeded as planned.
SIT Executive Director Maree Howden said the decision to postpone the Bachelor of Nursing course was simply because the number of first-year Bachelor of Nursing students exceeded 100.
* Covid-19: Lockdown confusion north of Auckland as Kaipara mayor calls for government clarity
* Covid-19: Wet and windy weather forecast throughout Auckland lockdown
* Hospitality and tourism businesses bear the brunt of the sudden lockdown
Alert Level 2 guidelines stated that gatherings should be limited to less than 100.
âWe feel obligated to keep student health and safety in the forefront and because of students coming from many places,â Howden said.
Manu Reiri, a first year nursing student, was excited to start his studies on Monday and was disappointed to then receive the message on Sunday evening informing him of the delay.
“It makes sense, prevention is better than cure,” he said of SIT’s decision.
SIT management also canceled O’Week’s activities this week.
As SIT decided to postpone the start of its nursing course and cancel O’Week activities, Bowden said it was otherwise largely business as usual.
SIT operates the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ) Auckland campus, which is subject to Alert Level 3 restrictions. E-learning was ongoing for these students.
Meanwhile, those in the hospitality industry have also had to act quickly to ensure they can operate at Alert Level 2.
Below Alert Level 2, customers in restaurants, bars and cafes had to be seated and socially distanced.
Invercargill Licensing Trust Managing Director Chris Ramsay expected this to have an impact, indicating a 20% drop in revenue in previous periods operating at Alert Level 2.
He was looking at the positives though.
While restrictions were limited until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, as noted, there was no better 72-hour period for the hospitality industry than Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to put restrictions in place, given that it It’s the quietest time of the week for hospitality, says Ramsay.
Ramsay was also thrilled to have successfully completed last week’s biggest Invercargill event, the Burt Munro Challenge, before the restrictions went into effect.
Ramsay said ILT trading during this year’s Burt Munro Challenge was on par with last year, which was nice given that ILT had a quieter January than expected.
ILT Stadium Southland General Manager Nigel Skelt has said he will work hard to ensure that as many events as possible can go below Alert Level 2.
A social netball competition scheduled for Monday evening was canceled, which Skelt said was largely due to the netball volunteers not having time to work on logistics.
Skelt said they can separate the site, which includes the SIT Velodrome, into different zones to make sure they don’t exceed the maximum of 100 people.
“We need to look for ways to continue operating, in accordance with Alert Level 2 guidelines, rather than ways not to,” he said.
His biggest concern was whether the Alert Level 2 restrictions continued beyond Wednesday evening.
ILT Stadium Southland hosts the New Zealand Elite and Under-19 Track Cycling Championships, Relay For Life and its first-ever esports tournament, all scheduled on site from February 24-28.