FAQs – confirmed cases of COVID-19 on La Trobe Bundoora Campus

1 April -  FAQS - confirmed case of COVID-19

How many La Trobe staff and students have contracted the virus and what is their condition?

There are currently three confirmed cases of COVID-19 at La Trobe University.

The first case was announced on 12 March and second on the 29 March. Those cases were students.

A third case – a member of staff - has been announced on 1 April. The University has offered its full support to them.

Can you confirm who has been tested positive for COVID-19?

We are not able to comment on individual cases to respect patient confidentiality and the privacy of individuals. The staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19 is receiving support.

All those considered to be close contacts have been identified, required to self-isolate for 14 days, watch for, and report, any symptoms.

Which buildings/rooms did the confirmed case attend on 23 and 24 March?

  • Terrace 13, Level 1, 101 – 113 Service Desk area and meeting room
  • Terrace 13, Level 1, female toilet
  • Terrace 14, 103A, kitchenette
  • Peribolos West, room 121

The areas the staff member visited are being deep cleaned according to relevant guidelines.

Who would contact me if I had been exposed to this case?

The DHHS would contact you directly if you have been in close contact with the person diagnosed with COVID-19 and you would be required to self-isolate for 14 days and watch for symptoms.

29 March -  FAQS - confirmed case of COVID-19

How many La Trobe staff and students have contracted the virus and what is their condition?

There are currently two cases of La Trobe University students confirmed as having contracted COVID-19.

The first case was announced on 12 March.

A second case has been announced on 29 March. The student is receiving medical treatment and the University has offered its full support to them.

Can you confirm who has been tested positive for COVID-19?

We are not able to comment on individual cases to respect patient confidentiality and the privacy of individuals. The student who has tested positive for COVID-19 is receiving support.

All staff and students with whom the student came into contact have been identified and advised to watch for, and report, any symptoms. The DHHS advises that they are not required to self-isolate as they are now outside the required self-isolation period.

Which lectures/buildings/rooms did the confirmed case attend on 10 and 12 March?

  • Tuesday 10th March – Lecture from 11.30 am – 1.00pm (TLC 415)
  • Thursday 12th March – Lecture from 09.30 am – 12.00 noon (DMC C121)
  • Thursday 12th March - Lecture from 1.00 pm – 4.00pm (ELT 1)

Who would contact me if I had been exposed to this case?

The University would contact you directly if you have been in close contact with the person diagnosed with COVID-19. Please follow their advice around monitoring your health for symptoms.

12 March -  FAQS - confirmed case of COVID-19

How many staff or students have contracted the virus, and what is their condition?

There is one La Trobe student confirmed as having contracted COVID-19. The student is receiving medical treatment and the University has offered its full support to them via the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

Can you confirm who has been tested positive with COVID-19?

We are not able to comment on individual cases to respect patient confidentiality and the privacy of individuals. The student who has tested positive for COVID-19 is receiving support and any staff and students identified by DHHS to have been in close or casual contact with this student have been requested to self-isolate as a precaution, with arrangements in place for the University to provide support.

What details can you share about the students’ whereabouts on campus before the closure and how many people may have been infected?

The University is working closely with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and following its advice to enact the recommended public health measures.

The University can now confirm the dates, times and locations the student was on campus last week. They are:

  • Tuesday 03 March 2020 - 10.00 am to 11.00 am. Martin building MAR - Room MAR-141
  • Wednesday 04 March 2020 - 11.00 am to 12.00 pm. Eastern Lecture Theatre building ELT - Room ELT3
  • Thursday 05 March 2020 - 03.00 pm to 04.00 pm. Education 1 building ED1 - Room ED1-220

All areas have been deep-cleaned.

We want to reassure our students and staff that the Department of Health and Human Services has undertaken contact tracing to identify close and casual contacts with whom the affected person was in contact and they have been contacted and required to self-isolate and report any symptoms. Arrangements are in place to provide the necessary support.

If you have not been contacted by DHHS or the University you are considered to be at very low risk from this incident.

Who would contact me if I have been exposed to this case?

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will contact you directly if you have been in ‘close contact’ with the person diagnosed with COVID-19.  Please follow their advice of the self-isolation requirements.

If you have been identified as potentially having been in ‘casual contact’ with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, you will be informed by the University directly with further information. The DHHS has confirmed that you will be able to go about your normal business (including attending campus) and will be asked to monitor your health for any signs of symptoms.

Will students who are required to self-isolate get special consideration?

Students who are required to self-isolate will be provided with flexible study support during that time. If self-isolation occurs during exam period or when final assignments are due, special consideration will be considered on a case by case basis.

How are staff who are required to self-isolate being supported?

Staff who are required to self-isolate will be supported by the University in continuing to work from home, as long as they remain well during this period. They will be granted special personal leave with pay during the 14-day self-isolation period.

Special Personal Leave is a type of leave allowed in the University’s Collective Agreement in circumstances where staff are diagnosed with, or classified as, a “close contact” of someone diagnosed with a notifiable infectious disease. While this is formally only an entitlement of continuing and fixed term staff under the Agreement, the University will be extending this to casual staff members.

We recognise that staff may feel anxious and we are also offering access to the University’s Employee Assistance Program support which is available to staff and their families.

I’m a staff member – should I still come to work?

Staff members who have not had contact with the affected student are expected to come to work as usual. If you were in contact with the affected student, you will have been contacted by the University.

The University has sought advice from DHHS and DHHS have advised that all teaching, research and administrative activities can continue. We will continue to monitor the situation, working closely with DHHS, and we will alert our community immediately if advice from the DHHS changes.

The DHHS has undertaken contact tracing to identify close and casual contacts with whom the affected person has recently been in contact and they are being asked to self-isolate and report any symptoms.

The limited number of areas the student visited last week have been deep cleaned in accordance with DHHS guidelines.

Department of Health advice remains that practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses.

Why has the University decided not to close the Melbourne campus?

The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and the University is working closely with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and following their advice.

The University has sought advice from DHHS on whether closure was required and DHHS have advised that it was not, and that all teaching, research and administrative activities can continue. We will continue to monitor the situation, working closely with DHHS, and we will alert our community immediately if advice from the DHHS changes.

The DHHS has undertaken contact tracing to identify close and casual contacts with whom the affected person has recently been in contact and they are being asked to self-isolate and report any symptoms.

The limited number of areas the student visited last week have been deep cleaned in accordance with DHHS guidelines.

Everyone is reminded to continue to practise good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene, which is the best defense against most viruses.