Advice for students and staff regarding novel coronavirus

10 February 2020

Update: Home isolation guidance for close contacts and recently returned travellers from mainland China

Please see previously-issued advices below.

On behalf of Critical Incident Management Team

Professor Christine Bennett AO

  • Coronavirus advice - 4 Feb 2020

    Home isolation guidance for close contacts and recently returned travellers from mainland ChinaOver the weekend, the Australian Government updated the advice for university and vocational students and staff regarding the requirements for isolation for the novel coronavirus:

    • If you have left, or transited through, mainland China on or after 1 February 2020, you must isolate yourself until 14 days have elapsed after leaving China.

    The Australian Government also confirmed the following requirements for isolation, which were already in place:

    • If you have travelled from Hubei Province, China, within the past 14 days, you must isolate yourself until 14 days have elapsed after leaving Hubei Province, other than for seeking individual medical care.
    • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed novel coronavirus case, you must isolate yourself for 14 days after last contact with the confirmed case.

    If you meet any of the above criteria, you should not attend university and must avoid contact with other students and staff. You should also phone your Dean, Manager or Supervisor at the university and let them know that you are needing to self-isolate so that we can provide you with support.

    For those needing to isolate themselves at home, NSWHealth has prepared a guidance to explain what this means and provides other suggestions to help you: Home isolation guidance for close contacts and recently returned travellers from mainland China.

    Students or staff in the following circumstances can attend university:

    • If you have travelled from other provinces of mainland China (and have not been in Hubei province) and arrived back in Australia before 1 February 2020.
    • If you have travelled only to Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan.

    International students with further questions can contact:

    Action you should take to seek medical assistance if you develop symptoms whilst in isolation
    If within 14 days of leaving anywhere in mainland China or having been in contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus, you develop symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath, you should seek medical assistance.

    In NSW you should call HealthDirect line for further advice on 1800 022 222: this is a 24 hour hotline.

    In Western Australia you should phone your doctor or emergency department to seek medical assistance.

    When you call, tell them your travel history that you have been in mainland China or that you have been in contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus so that they can make arrangements for your care.

    Preventing respiratory illness
    We again confirm that to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections, please wash your hands frequently (including before and after eating) using soap and water, practice cough etiquette - if you need to cough or sneeze cover your mouth or nose with a flexed elbow and dispose of tissues immediately and, avoid contact with people suffering an acute respiratory infection.

    Where do I get more information?
    The above information applies to all students and staff across all UNDA campuses. For further advice please see your local state websites, which are provided below. For information and general enquiries about novel coronavirus, call the Commonwealth Health Information Line – 1800 020 080, which currently  operates Monday – Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturdays from 8am to 5pm, and Sundays from 9am to 5pm.

    For the latest advice from the Australian Government Department of Health, please see:
    https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-information-sheet-for-universities-higher-education-and-vocational-education-facilities

    The NSW Department of Health has developed a site identifying frequently asked questions and providing responses:
    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus-faqs.aspx

    The Healthy WA site is:
    https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/sitecore/content/Healthy-WA/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus

    Please check these sites daily to ensure you have the most accurate and current information and advice.

    Advice to students and staff regarding travel to China and Asia
    Due to the heightened risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus in China and Eastern Asia (which constitutes China Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan) the University’s Corporate Travel insurer is not currently extending travel insurance to staff and students travelling to Eastern Asia, effective immediately and until further notice. Staff and students travelling to Eastern Asia will not be covered by the University’s Corporate Travel insurance and, therefore, should not to travel to Eastern Asia for any University related matter.

    For University related travel to the rest of Asia, a Travel Risk Assessment must be completed and submitted to the University’s insurer at least 7 days before departure. Please contact Fabian D’Mello, Manager Risk and Compliance on fabian.dmello@nd.edu.au for further details on the information required to complete the Travel Risk Assessment.

  • Coronavirus advice - 31 Jan 2020

    The University remains in contact with both the Australian Government Department of Health and the NSW Health Department. In response to the evolving novel coronavirus situation, the updated information is:

    • If you have travelled to Hubei Province, China, you must isolate yourself for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province, other than for seeking individual medical care.  If you have been in contact with any confirmed novel coronavirus cases, you must isolate yourself for 14 days following your last exposure.
    • Students in these circumstances should not attend university and must avoid contact with other students and staff.
    • If you have travelled to mainland China in general, but not to Hubei Province, you are not required to isolate yourself and you can attend university.
    • Additional precautionary measures are in place for healthcare students who are undertaking clinical placements and these are being communicated directly to these students.
    • We again confirm that to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections, please wash your hands frequently (including before and after eating) using soap and water, practice cough etiquette - if you need to cough or sneeze cover your mouth or nose with a flexed elbow and dispose of tissues immediately and, avoid contact with people suffering an acute respiratory infection.

    On behalf of - Professor Christine Bennett AO

    Further information and advice

    Please check these sites daily to ensure you have the most accurate and current information and advice.

    For the latest advice from the Australian Government Department of Health, please see:
    https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-information-for-university-and-vocational-education-students-and-staff-arriving-from-hubei-province-china

    The NSW Department of Health has developed a site identifying frequently asked questions and providing responses:
    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus-faqs.aspx

    For the latest advice from the NSW Department of Health:
    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

    A factsheet for the novel coronavirus 2019 can be found at:
    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/novel-coronavirus.aspx

    Other advice

  • Coronavirus advice - 28 Jan 2020

    As many of you will be aware, there has been an outbreak of a new human coronavirus originating in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.

    Symptoms have included fever, cough, and shortness of breath and other signs of a chest infection. Consequently, we are advising all students and staff who have travelled to China (or whose family has travelled to these areas) in the past four weeks and who are feeling unwell, to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

    The Department of Health has advised that students, staff or community members feeling unwell should contact their General Practitioner or the Emergency Department or call the healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222.  It is important to phone ahead and advise the doctor about your symptoms and travel history and to receive instructions prior to visiting.

    Please note that you should not attend work, university or placements until you have been cleared by a doctor and have a medical certificate that confirms that you are able to attend.

    To reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections, wash your hands frequently, practice cough etiquette - if you need to cough or sneeze cover your mouth or nose with a flexed elbow and dispose of tissues immediately and, avoid contact with people suffering an acute respiratory infection.

    While the risk of contracting the virus in Australia is low, the Australian Government and State Health Departments are continuously monitoring the situation.  For the latest advice from the Australian Government Department of Health, please see:

    https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

    For the latest advice from the NSW Department of Health:

    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

    A factsheet for the novel coronavirus 2019 can be found at:

    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/novel-coronavirus.aspx

    As the situation continues to evolve, please check these sites to ensure you have the most accurate and current information and advice.

    On behalf of - Professor Christine Bennett AO


Media Contact: Breyon Gibbs : +61 8 9443 0569 | breyon.gibbs@nd.edu.au