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GIBS |
Communication regarding COVID-19

Author: GIBS News
Source: gibs news

COVID-19 Update: Campus closed from 18h00 on the 24th of March 2020 until further notice.

23 March 2020
Previous communication indicated that students could access the GIBS campus on a limited, preauthorised basis. Given the President’s announcement on the evening of the 23rd March of a nation-wide lockdown, we have made a decision to close the campus with effect from 18h00 on the 24th March 2020 until further notice.

Although our academic programmes have been running online, the declaration of a nation-wide lockdown poses issues for students who have problems with connectivity (including access to bandwidth and signal), as well as family responsibilities which may prevent them from accessing lectures at scheduled times.

In order for us to ensure that we offer our programmes in conformance with the national lockdown and in a way that is fair to all, we have made the decision to suspend our programmes while we evaluate student preferences and availability to participate in online offerings. After engaging with our students and faculty, as well as the GIBS ExCo and the Executive at the University of Pretoria we will communicate how we will support students going forward.

All online teaching of academic programmes will be suspended from 18h00 on the 24th March. Those students who want to write online exams scheduled on the 25th, 27th and 28th of March will be offered the opportunity to do so. 

Our GIBS staff will continue to work from home, and will be on standby to support when we resume our academic programmes.

Please do take government restrictions and advice seriously and act responsibly. Remember that you have a responsibility not only to yourself, but also to those within our broader community who are particularly vulnerable.

We will remain in touch as the situation develops. Stay home. Stay safe. 

For the latest information relating to how GIBS is managing the COVID-19 outbreak and the mitigation of actions taken to reduce risk of infection please go to: www.gibs.co.za/info. For those of you already on programmes, should you have additional questions, please contact your programme manager. Alternatively, please email your query to corona@gibs.co.za.


COVID-19 Update: Access to GIBS campus now further restricted

23 March 2020

NOTE: We are awaiting the briefing from President Ramaphosa which may alter the arrangements communicated below. If this is the case, we will send a further communication.

As you know all face-to-face classes on the GIBS campus were suspended early last week, with classes being moved online or rescheduled until after mid-April. This was done to significantly reduce the number of people on campus and thus allow social distancing.

Campus access

With the Covid -19 pandemic developing rapidly, the campus is now closed to all visitors except those GIBS students and staff who have a compelling reason for coming onto campus. Students may access the campus for exams or in order to utilise GIBS WiFi if they would otherwise not be able to participate in online programmes.

Should you require campus access, please email access@gibs.co.za by 13h00 on the day prior to your visit. Please include in your email the time and duration of your proposed visit as well as the class/exam you are attending or if you are not attending for these purposes, the reason why you need to access the campus. In addition to assisting us to manage access control, your notification gives us the opportunity to prepare an appropriately sanitised venue. You will be advised where you should go when you arrive on the campus. Please do not use any other venues (other than bathrooms) during your visit. You are also advised to bring your own food and drinks onto the campus.

Students may only enter the campus through the main gate in Melville Road, and park under the direction of security. Everyone coming onto campus will be required to confirm they have not travelled in the past 14 days, that they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or in self-quarantine or self-isolation, and that they commit to social distancing and other healthy hygiene habits while on campus.

Unfortunately, anyone who arrives without prior authorisation will be denied access to the campus.

Please note that as we have some students who are accessing the campus today and will not have the opportunity to submit their authorisations for today, this measure will be operational from 21h00 today, the 23rd March. We are awaiting the briefing from President Ramaphosa which may alter these arrangements. If this is the case, we will send a further communication.

For the latest information relating to how GIBS is managing the COVID-19 outbreak and the mitigation actions taken to reduce risk of infection please go to: www.gibs.co.za/info. For those of you already on programmes, should you have additional questions, please contact your programme manager. Alternatively, please email your query to corona@gibs.co.za.


COVID-19 Update: Faculty member tests positive for COVID-19

20 March 2020

The Gordon Institute of Business Science has today (Friday, 20 March) been informed that one of its faculty members, (a female aged 37, who has not travelled recently) learnt today that she tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

 

The faculty member who remains asymptomatic is currently in quarantine and has been so since Sunday, 15 March, when she was informed that she had been in social contact with an individual who had subsequently tested positive for the virus. The School is in the process of informing all individuals, including one cohort of GIBS students, who have been in contact with the faculty member.

 

All face-to-face classes on the GIBS campus were suspended earlier this week. Classes were moved online or rescheduled until after mid-April. Prior to learning about this case, measures had already been taken to significantly curtail visitors to campus.

 

In line with the measures agreed, the campus is now closed to all except those GIBS students who have a compelling reason for visiting campus. Should any student require campus access (limited to between the hours of 9am and 4pm), they are asked to email access@gibs.co.za, with the time and duration of the visit and the reason why access to the campus is essential. Earlier this week we implemented measures to confirm that those entering the campus had not travelled in the past 14 days, that they were not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms and that they committed to social distancing and other healthy hygiene habits while on campus. These measures continue to be enforced.

 

For clarity, access to the GIBS WiFi for students who otherwise would not be able to participate in online programmes is a valid reason to come onto campus. We reiterate our request that students only visit the campus if it is absolutely essential. Unfortunately, anyone who arrives without prior authorisation will be denied access to the campus.

 

Despite the measures enforced by the campus, our first case brings to light the rigour and discipline required by all of us to practice social distancing.

 

For the latest information relating to how GIBS is managing the COVID-19 outbreak and the mitigation actions taken to reduce risk of infection please go to: www.gibs.co.za/info. For those of you already on programmes, should you have additional questions, please contact your programme manager. Alternatively, please email your query to corona@gibs.co.za.



COVID-19 Update: Further restrictions to campus access.

19 March 2020

The South African national and local government has acted swiftly and decisively in its efforts to minimise the impact of the Covid -19 pandemic. Given the gazetting of new regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act and announcements by local government, we are further reducing non-critical activities on campus. 
As stated in an earlier communication all face to face teaching has been suspended and moved online or rescheduled until after mid-April. Information Centre services will now only be available digitally.
All non-essential staff have been moved off campus and are working remotely. Visitors who are not students or authorised contractors will no longer be allowed on campus. From tomorrow, Mookana the GIBS coffee shop will be closed. The take-away will remain open for students but with restricted staff and hours (weekdays 7am to 4pm,Saturdays 8am to 3pm, closed Sundays). The Distinction bar in the hotel is closed, and we are not taking any further bookings for the Illovo hotel. 
We reiterate our request that you only visit the campus if it is absolutely essential.  All students and essential contractors who need to come onto campus will continue to be required to complete a health and travel declaration, as well as commit to healthy hygiene habits.
  
For the latest information relating to how GIBS is managing the Coronavirus outbreak and the mitigation actions taken to reduce risk of infection please go to: www.gibs.co.za/info. For those of you already on programmes, should you have additional questions, please contact your programme manager. Alternatively, please email your query to corona@gibs.co.za.

Links to more information:
Government Gazette: 
https://cdn.24.co.za/files/Cms/General/d/8296/998082c0829846979a52f11933b621bd.pdf

News:
https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/coronavirus-national-state-of-disaster-takes-effect-with-publishing-of-gazetted-regulations-20200318
https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/coronavirus-5-key-regulations-governing-the-national-state-of-disaster-20200319

Further information is available on the Discovery website:
https://www.discovery.co.za/corporate/health-understand-corona-and-prevent-infections

General coronavirus -19 information:
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

National Institute for Communicable Disease daily update:


COVID-19 Update: Suspension of Face-to-Face Teaching

16 March 2020

As per the President’s briefing on the evening of Sunday, 15 March 2020 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4MSI-nDMMw) and a decision made by the Executive of the University of Pretoria today (https://www.up.ac.za/news/post_2881150-postponement-of-contact-classes-and-rescheduling-of-academic-calendar-), all face-to-face teaching at GIBS will be suspended with immediate effect. As of today, all public events, face-to-face teaching and immersions will be moved online or rescheduled until after mid-April when an assessment will be made with regard to the resumption of contact activities.
 
Please only visit the campus if it is essential.  All visitors and students to campus will be required to complete a health and travel declaration, as well as commit to healthy hygiene habits.
 
Academic graduations scheduled for April will not continue. The congregation of the University will award all degrees in absentia and the ceremonies will be scheduled for later in the year.
 
For the latest information relating to how GIBS is managing the Coronavirus outbreak and the mitigation actions taken to reduce risk of infection please go to: www.gibs.co.za/info. For those of you already on programmes, should you have additional questions, please contact your programme manager. Alternatively, please email your query to corona@gibs.co.za.
  

COVID-19 Update

16 March 2020

Subsequent to various statements and yesterday's address from the President (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4MSI-nDMMw), the Executive of the University of Pretoria is meeting this morning to determine their response. We will be communicating key decisions to our stakeholders thereafter.

We are fully committed to do all we can to slow down the rate of transmission of COVID-19 and commit to communicate all decisions as quickly as possible.

If you have travelled to any international destination in the last 14 days, we ask that you do not come to campus as access will be restricted.

Please refer back to this website regularly, we will provide more information as timeously as possible.


 COVID-19 Update

12 March 2020

The health and wellbeing of all who spend time at GIBS is a priority for us. As you all know, best practice for understanding and responding to the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic is a moving target given the fluidity of the situation. We are monitoring the situation closely and are guided by global and local information sources as well as the Executive of the University of Pretoria. Whilst we are busy scaling our capacity to take learning online should this be required, as things stand as of the 12 March 2020, all our programmes and events are continuing as scheduled.

The purpose of this communication is to advise you of the steps we have implemented to safeguard the health of all who visit the GIBS campus, to give you guidelines to access information going forward, and to share information for travellers who may have contracted COVID 19.

Best Practice on Campus

Experts advise that there are a number of hygiene habits, which can help keep us all healthier. We have already emphasised these across campus under the hashtag #HealthyHygieneHabits. Visitors to campus will see stickers and posters urging people to engage in practices like proper hand washing, sneezing into elbows, minimising personal contact and the like.

We have also implemented non-touch sensors at all GIBS campus entry points. This allows staff, delegates, students and visitors to operate the vehicle booms and entry gates without physical contact.

We have increased the number of hand sanitising stations on campus. The GIBS cleaning team have a schedule which ensures that hard surfaces such as desks, handrails door handles etc are sanitised a number of times per day with ammonia and chlorine-based cleaning compounds, as recommended by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).

More information

We recognise that we are not experts in public health. In order to ensure that we follow sound advice and manage responsibly, we are following the advice of the NICD (www.nicd.ac.za) and the Department of Health protocols. We are also referring to advice given by the World Health Organisation (https://www.who.int/) as well as instructions from the Executive of the University of Pretoria. Please refer to these sources if you are looking for specific information on how to keep yourself and those around you healthy.

For the latest information relating to how GIBS is managing the Coronavirus outbreak and the mitigation actions taken to reduce risk of infection please go to: www.gibs.co.za/info For those of you already on programmes, should you have additional questions, please contact your programme manager. Alternatively, please email your query to corona@gibs.co.za.

For those who may have been exposed to COVID-19

We are committed to taking the necessary steps to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. This calls for all of us to collaborate to keep ourselves healthy and, should we have any reasonable exposure to the COVID-19 virus to avoid transmitting it to others.

At GIBS, we have implemented travel restrictions for our staff members. If you are not a GIBS employee, we ask, that if there is a likelihood that you may have contracted the virus, that you avoid coming to campus and contact us to make arrangements to keep up with your learning programme. If you discover that you have contracted COVID-19 and have spent any time on the GIBS campus, please let us know immediately via the e-mail corona@gibs.co.za. If you have travelled and are concerned, please call the NICD hotline (0800 029 999) for advice.  

We thank you for your co-operation and support. 


Coronavirus Update

11 March 2020

The Coronavirus has focused our minds on ensuring that the GIBS community remains as healthy as possible. There are a number of hygiene habits, which can help keep us all healthier. We will be emphasising these across campus under the hashtag #HealthyHygieneHabits. You will shortly see stickers on campus urging people to wash their hands, sneeze into their elbows and the like.

We have implemented non-touch sensors at all GIBS campus entry points. This will allow staff, delegates, students and visitors to operate the vehicle boom without any physical contact.

We have ordered additional hand sanitiser stations to add to those already on campus. The supplier has promised delivery on Wednesday this week, and they will be installed immediately thereafter.

The GIBS cleaning team have a schedule which ensures that hard surfaces such as desks, handrails door handles etc are sanitised a number of times per day with ammonia and chlorine-based cleaning compounds, as recommended by the National Institute of Communicable diseases (NICD).

Trying to predict the impact of the Coronavirus is not an exact science. We are in regular contact with the Executive of the University of Pretoria. Currently all our programmes and events continue as scheduled. We will update you if there is any change to these arrangements or if there are any changes to our daily practices.

For the latest information relating to how GIBS is managing the Coronavirus outbreak and the mitigation actions taken to reduce risk of infection, please check this page for updates. 

We need to work together as a community to keep everyone as healthy as possible. I thank you in advance for your co-operation. 


Update regarding Coronavirus

10 March 2020
The Coronavirus has focused our minds on ensuring that the GIBS community remains as healthy as possible. There are a number of hygiene habits (which frankly we should always adhere to anyway), which can help keep us all healthier. We will be emphasising these across campus under the hashtag #HealthyHygieneHabits. You will shortly see stickers on campus urging people to wash their hands, sneeze into their elbows and the like.

We are also implementing non-touch sensors at all GIBS campus entry points. This will allow staff, students, and visitors to operate the security camera and lift the vehicle boom without any physical contact.  We will be installing additional hand sanitiser stations to add to those already on campus. 

Trying to predict the impact of the Corona Virus is not an exact science. We are in regular contact with the Executive of the University of Pretoria and will update you if and when there are any changes to our daily practices.

We continue to work together as a community to keep everyone as healthy as possible.


Communication regarding Coronavirus

5 March 2020

We are all aware of the Coronavirus outbreak which originated in Wuhan City, and which has now spread beyond China's borders.

Coronaviruses cause a variety of respiratory illnesses, varying from the common cold to the more serious SARS-CoV. They are spread through personal contact, contaminated surfaces and coughing and sneezing. As with many viruses, there is no specific treatment available and sufferers are given general medical support for the duration of their illness.

Although there are only limited cases that have been reported in South Africa at this time, it is prudent to take common sense precautions. As good practice, GIBS already encourages handwashing and hand sanitising on campus. Medical advice is that simple actions such as these have a significant impact on reducing transmission. We are increasing our efforts in this regard to reduce as much as is practically possible, our community's risk of infection.

As part of the global community, GIBS faculty, staff and students under normal circumstances travel extensively. As a precaution GIBS has made a decision not to travel to China until further notice. We are also limiting all non-essential travel.  We, in conjunction with our travel partners, continue to monitor the situation in other countries which feature in our travel plans for later in the year. In cases where travel is permitted, our insurance covers anyone who becomes ill during such travel.

GIBS also welcomes international visitors on campus from time to time. We are assessing the risk profile of the home countries from which such visitors originate. Decisions will then be made on a case by case basis as whether to go ahead with such visits, with the intention of reducing the risk of transmission.

At a broader level we have regularly updated business continuity plans in place should any general public health measures be imposed in the coming months.

We will be updating this web page should we have more specific information.

Further information is available on the very informative Discovery website:
https://www.discovery.co.za/corporate/health-understand-corona-and-prevent-infections
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