COVID-19 Health Advice and Victorian restriction information

Find out about COVID-19 testing, notification processes and health measures, as well as the latest University advice on current restrictions.

Last updated: 04.38pm, 18 September 2020

Victorian restriction information

The Victorian government has released its reopening roadmap, and there will be no additional on-campus activities until at least 26 October (the Third step of the roadmap for Metropolitan Melbourne). This means that if you already have in-person classes these will continue as per your subject coordinator's instructions, but all other classes will remain online.

The University remains committed to operating in compliance with government and health requirements and is working through the updated advice currently and what it means for our students, researchers, staff and the University’s operations.

Metro Melbourne

From 11:59pm on Sunday 13 September, First step to reopening restrictions apply in metropolitan Melbourne. Visit the Department of Health and Human Services page for information on what this means if you live within Metro Melbourne.

Regional Victoria

From 11.59pm on Wednesday 16 September, Third step to reopening restrictions apply throughout regional Victoria. Visit the Department of Health and Human Services page for information on what this means if you live within regional Victoria.

Can I come to campus?

You must not come to campus until you receive prior approval from the University to do so. In Semester 2, most of you will continue to mostly study online, and some may attend campus for practical and specialist classes when Government restrictions allow. Even though we’ve developed a return to campus plan, we don’t want you spending time on campus, or commuting to campus, unless you absolutely need to.

Specific details are now available for each of the subjects on our list of Semester 2 subjects with in-person activities. You should also refer to the LMS for subject-specific details, noting that the latest restrictions may affect existing plans for on-campus study.

The health and safety of our University community continues to be our priority and we will work with the Victorian Government to ensure this.

What to do if you think you have COVID-19

Do not come to campus if you are unwell and have any of the following symptoms, however mild: fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of sense of taste or smell.

Follow Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) advice and seek medical advice and testing.

If you become unwell on campus

  1. Leave the campus immediately. If you must use public transport, be sure to practice excellent hand hygiene and cough/sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
  2. Seek medical advice and get tested for COVID‑19 (available at the University Health Service)
  3. Do not return to campus under any circumstances. Once you have been tested, stay at home and self-isolate as per the advice from the Department of Health and Human services. Find out more about getting tested.
  4. You can call the health service on 03 8344 6905 for advice and to book COVID‑19 testing on your way home
  5. Notify your subject and course coordinator and email campus‑community@unimelb.edu.au
  6. If you are having serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000.

If someone you know appears ill and is showing symptoms, encourage them to seek medical assistance.

If you’re unwell at home

  1. Seek medical advice and get tested for COVID‑19 (available at the University Health Service)
  2. Do not come to campus under any circumstances. Once you have been tested, stay at home and self-isolate as per the advice from the Department of Health and Human services. Find out more about getting tested.
  3. Notify your subject and course coordinator and email campus-community@unimelb.edu.au
  4. If you are having serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000.

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19

  1. Whether or not you have symptoms, you must immediately self-isolate. You will be contacted by a public health worker from the DHHS for advice on the next steps. Find out more about what happens if you test positive.
  2. Notify the University by emailing campus-community@unimelb.edu.au. This inbox is monitored seven days a week. In the email, please include your name, phone number and contact details Your information will be kept confidential. A privacy collection notice (PDF 102.0 KB) is available
  3. A University Case Management Team member will call you within several hours of notification.

What to do if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive

If the person is a member of the University community

Advise the individual to email campus‑community@unimelb.edu.au.

You should also notify the University by emailing relevant details (names, contact number, sites affected, key dates etc) to campus‑community@unimelb.edu.au. This inbox is monitored seven days a week

A University Case Management Team member will call the notifying person within several hours of notification.

If DHHS or the University tells you that you have a close contact

Follow all advice and guidance available from the DHHS

  1. Immediately enter quarantine at home, and if not home, immediately travel home without making other stops (for more advice on how to quarantine at home visit the DHHS website.
  2. Notify the University by emailing campus-community@unimelb.edu.au.
  3. You must quarantine at home 14 days from the last date of contact with the confirmed case of COVID‑19
  4. The DHHS may contact you to advise testing on Day 11 of quarantine even if you do not have symptoms. If you develop symptoms at any time during your quarantine, even mild ones, you should get a COVID‑19 test
  5. If you do test positive for COVID‑19, please send an email to campus‑community@unimelb.edu.au so we can support you.

If you live in residential accommodation, please only attend the test when outside your accommodation and return to the accommodation immediately afterwards to avoid unnecessary contact with other members of the community.

The Public Health Unit and Campus Community team has a rostered team that monitors the campus‑community@unimelb.edu.au inbox 7 days a week. Notifying the team at campus‑community@unimelb.edu.au means the University can support you if you contract COVID‑19 by providing practical advice, links to University services, conducting wellbeing checks, answering COVID‑19 related questions and assisting through the isolation process. The Public Health Unit will work with DHHS to facilitate contact tracing, manage any necessary building deep cleans and provide relevant local and organisational level communication.

Face masks

As per DHHS advice, from 11.59pm on Sunday 2 August 2020, all Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live.

This will apply to students and staff coming to the University’s campuses. If you are in student accommodation, face coverings will need to be worn upon leaving your room or shared apartment.

There are some exclusions to this advice:

  • DHHS does not recommend face coverings for those with a relevant medical condition, including respiratory conditions where a mask would compromise their breathing, a serious skin condition of the face, a disability or a mental health condition
  • DHHS will not require children under the age of 12 years old to wear a face covering
  • It is recognised that it may not be practical to teach with face coverings on in all circumstances. The University recommends teachers wear a face cover wherever practical. Where it is not feasible to do so while teaching, staff can remove the face covering, as long as 1.5m physical distancing is maintained at all times.

This is not an exhaustive list of exclusions. DHHS provides further advice about wearing face coverings, including other lawful excuses or exceptions for not wearing a face covering.

When wearing a face covering, you are protecting others. If others are wearing one, they are helping to protect you. And if we all wear one, we're all doing our bit to slow the spread.

Supply of face masks

We strongly encourage you to supply your own reusable face coverings (such as a cloth mask) for use in appropriate settings. We recommend you access DHHS general information including how to properly fit and remove face masks (surgical and cloth), how to keep them clean and how to make a cloth face covering

We are committed to maintaining a sustainable campus, and therefore we encourage you to obtain reusable cloth masks for use where appropriate.

University-supplied face masks

We will continue to supply face masks to students and staff who work or study in environments such as clinical health care settings, research labs or other areas where clinical grade masks are a mandatory requirement as determined by risk assessment or standard operating procedure.

In addition, we will maintain a small stock of single use surgical face masks for distribution to students undertaking activities on campus where you are unable to procure your own.

The supply will be prioritised as follows:

  1. For use by students and staff in environments where clinical face mask use is mandated eg clinical settings, laboratories and where additional supply is required
  2. For use by staff in non-clinical/laboratory settings where they are required to work on campus
  3. For students in non-clinical/laboratory settings where you are unable to procure your own.

Practicing good hygiene

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides the following good hygiene tips:

  • You should pay close attention to good hand hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially before eating and after using the toilet. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue - or cough into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards
  • Wear a face mask and avoid touching your face.

Physical distancing

Physical distancing is recommended by the DHHS to reduce community transmission of COVID-19.

Physical distancing is a way to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people.

These simple, common-sense actions help reduce risk to you and to others. They will help to slow the spread of disease in the community.

  • Stay at home if you are sick or unwell
  • Keep a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible
  • Don't shake hands, hug, or kiss as a greeting
  • Minimise physical contact, especially with people at higher risk such as older people and people with existing health conditions
  • Respect temporary changes to seating and room configurations implemented to enhance physical distancing
  • Utilise hand sanitisers where available, and wash your hands frequently
  • Use tap and pay rather than handling cash
  • Exercise good sneeze/cough hygiene
  • Don't share food with anyone else

Informal off-campus meetings

We encourage all members of our community to stay safe and strongly advise that any social gatherings outside of formal curriculum time adhere to the Victorian Government’s physical distancing, public gatherings and hygiene requirements.

The University recognises that informal gatherings may occur from time to time, when restrictions are not in place, to build cohesion among tutorial groups and teams.

If staff members are present at an informal, off-campus student gathering, everyone in attendance should adhere to the University’s COVID-19 policies, particularly by staying home if unwell, and the Student Conduct PolicyAppropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy and other relevant University policies may apply. University staff members in attendance at informal gatherings are also responsible for keeping a record of attendees and current mobile phone numbers.