SuniTAFE COVID-19 response update

1.27 pm, 17 March 2020

 
We acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic is of concern to our entire SuniTAFE community, and want to keep you updated of advice and information relevant to your studies here.
 
There is no current indication of SuniTAFE being required to close and SuniTAFE is receiving direction from the Victorian Department of Education and Training regarding business operations. See this statement from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer on Monday 16 March regarding school closures. 
 

What is SuniTAFE doing?

  • Established a response team which is monitoring the latest Government advice on a daily basis.

  • Increased cleaning rounds of public areas at all campuses effective from 16 March.

  • Installed additional hand sanitiser dispensers in February 2020.

  • Reconsidering the need for any large gathering. As such, the Swan Hill Graduation & Awards night has been cancelled.

  • Postponing or cancelling all excursions.

  • Identifying flexible alternatives to minimise potential disruption to classes and help students to continue their studies.

  • Communicating with staff and students.

 

What students should do

The Department of Health and Human Services recommend you take the following steps to reduce your exposure and chances of getting ill with COVID-19:

  • Don’t come to class if you are feeling unwell and don’t expose others. If you are unwell with flu-like symptoms, do not go outside your property or home, do not go to work, school or shops unless it is essential.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.

  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly.

  • Get vaccinated for flu (influenza) when available in April. It is not yet known whether COVID-19 could significantly increase the risks of influenza infection.

  • Ensure you have enough supply of any medications being taken by you or your family.

  • Stop shaking hands or kissing as a greeting.

  • Avoid crowds if possible. If not, keep the time short.

  • Where possible, consider home delivery and take-aways.

  • To minimise contact, and where possible, use debit and credit cards instead of cash and make use of online and self-serve transactions.

  • Consider whether future travel plans are sensible and necessary.
     

SuniTAFE recommends that students:

  • Don’t come to class if you are feeling unwell and don’t expose others. Your teacher may ask you to leave if they believe you are unwell and present with flu-like symptoms.

  • Use automatic doors and look for the wedged open doors to reduce the need to touch public surfaces.

  • Practice social distancing. Social distancing includes staying at home when you are unwell, avoiding large public gatherings if they’re not essential, keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible and minimising physical contact such as shaking hands, especially with people at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, such as older people and people with existing health conditions.

  • Individuals arriving in Australia from overseas from 12am Monday 16 March will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This includes staff and students returning from overseas. Importantly, if any other household member is returning from overseas travel we request you to not attend classes. Please let your teacher know if this affects you.

  • Obtain medical advice if you have concerns about your health and wellbeing related to COVID-19.

  • Maintain calm and follow the advice from Government using official sources. Recommended websites to reference include:

 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Updated DHHS advice is available here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
 
Current information as at 12 noon Tuesday 17 March:
Many people who contract COVID–19 will suffer only mild symptoms. However early indications are that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. 
The most common coronavirus symptoms reported include:

  • Fever

  • Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Fatigue or tiredness.

 

IF YOU SUSPECT YOU MAY HAVE COVID-19, PLEASE CALL THE DEDICATED HOTLINE 1800 675 398.

 
If you visit your doctor and have any of the above symptoms, please call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention your overseas travel before you arrive at the doctor’s office so they can prepare appropriate infection control measures.