COVID-19 Update: 27 July 2021

This article was originally distributed as an all-student email on 27 July 2021.

Victoria: The Premier has announced today that from midnight tonight there will be an easing of public health restrictions for all of Victoria. These changes are expected to remain in place for at least the next two weeks (i.e. until 11.59pm, Tuesday 10 August).   

New South Wales: Staff and students based at the Sydney Campus must continue to follow NSW Government public health directions and updates from the local Sydney team. 

Summary of Victorian Government public health orders 

Eased public health restrictions will come into effect State-wide from 11.59pm, Tuesday 27 July. The key items relevant to the University are:  

  • The five reasons to leave home and 5km travel limit will be dropped. 
  • For higher education – if you can work and study from home, you must continue to do so. 
  • Masks must continue to be worn in all indoor and outdoor settings (unless medical exemption applies), including all workplace settings.  
  • Business functions/events are allowed but with density and patron limits that vary depending on the setting (indoor/outdoor and seated/non-seated). 
  • Gyms can reopen, with a density limit of 1 person per 4 square metres; COVID check-in marshals; and patron caps of 100 indoors and 300 outdoors. 
  • Movement between Melbourne and regional Victoria is unrestricted but there are changes to the definition of the cross-border zone (see below).  
  • Schools will resume in face-to-face mode on Wednesday 28 July for all year levels. 
  • Public gatherings are permitted for up to 10 people; no visitors are allowed to the home (intimate partner visits/single bubble permitted). 

If you have been instructed by the Department of Health to be in isolation or are under red permit conditions, you must continue to follow these requirements until cleared by the Department. 

For full details refer to the Victorian Government COVID website

Implications for University activities across all Victorian campuses 

Teaching and Learning 

  • Continuation of online learning: Classes for the remainder of this current week and the coming two weeks (commencing 2 August and 9 August) that can be conducted successfully online will continue online. Students will receive information from individual subject coordinators and teachers (with details, Zoom links, etc.). Students are requested to check their email and LMS for specific advice 
  • Face-to-face learning: Teaching that needs to be conducted in face-to-face mode can resume. Students will be advised by individual subject coordinators/teachers directly of the details and are requested to check their email and LMS for specific advice. 
  • Mask wearing while teaching: Teachers are exempt from wearing a mask while in the act of teaching.  Masks remain mandatory in all other settings. 
  • Supplementary/Special Exams: Will go ahead as planned in the week commencing 2 August for those with on-campus and online assessments. The Exam Timetable is available here: Timetable_FINAL_Combined_V3.pdf (latrobe.edu.au) and other relevant exam information is also available: Exam timetables.  
  • Library services: All Libraries are open with full access to resources. Library virtual services continue, with face-to-face services resuming on Monday 2 August with COVID safe controls. For more information refer to the Library COVIDSafe website.
  • On-campus learning and study spaces: For those students who cannot study at home, some on-campus study spaces will be provided. This will be in libraries and other designated rooms (e.g. specialist computer labs). Additional cleaning of these rooms will be undertaken. The list of study spaces is available in the FAQs.  
  • Support services: Student support services will return to a mix of face-to-face and virtual operations on Monday 2 August. Check the website for more information. 

Placements 

Most placements can recommence, with COVID safe controls. Students with queries about placements should contact the placement team 

Research activities 

  • Where you can conduct research from home, you should continue to. Research activities can resume on campus where they cannot be conducted from home. This includes graduate researchers and Honours and Masters by Coursework students. 
  • Field work and work in third-party sites can resume provided they meet La Trobe University requirements, the external site’s requirements and the State Government requirements. Speak to your line manager/supervisor in the first instance. Permission can be given by the Dean/Head of School or their delegate. 
  • In non-student learning spaces, the standard density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm applies.  

Other activities 

Sports: On-campus sporting facilities will reopen with COVID safe settings and density limits. 

Events: In-person events will be able to resume, subject to meeting the strict event-related COVID controls including having a completed Event Safety Risk Assessment. For more information please contact University Events at events@latrobe.edu.au. 

Open Day: Virtual Open Day will go ahead as planned on 1 August. The Melbourne (8 August) and Albury-Wodonga (15 August) on-campus experiences have been postponed and plans are being revised. The Bendigo (29 August) event is under active review. Any in-person activities will be restricted in line with public health requirements. 

Cross-border communities 

From 11:59pm Tuesday 27 July the City of Wagga Wagga, Hay Shire Council, Lockhart Shire Council and Murrumbidgee Council will no longer be included in the cross-border bubble.  These local government areas will instead be part of the Extreme Risk Zone, as applies to the rest of New South Wales. Residents will need a Specified Worker Permit, Transit Permit, or an explicit exemption to enter Victoria.  For more information see the Government’s Information for cross-border communities

The Premier has indicated that further border changes are likely to be announced in coming days.
Keeping La Trobe COVID Safe  

Please follow general COVID safe measures if you need to attend campus:   

  • Wear a face mask in all settings outside your home, unless a medical exemption applies.  See the Government rules about masks.  
  • Practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette. 
  • Maintain appropriate physical distancing. 
  • DO NOT attend a campus, placement or field work activity if you feel even slightly unwell with respiratory symptoms.  Immediately self-isolate and call the Department of Health COVID hotline (1800 675 398) to find out how to get tested; then self-isolate and stay home until you receive the result. This applies regardless of your vaccination status. 
  • If you are attending campus, sign-in to each building as you move around using the QR code system


Notify the University

Under the workplace directions issued under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic), staff and students must notify their tertiary education provider if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and may have attended while infectious. If you have been diagnosed or have been informed you are a primary or secondary contact of someone who has, please contact Spomenka Krizmanic the University’s Manager, Health Safety and Environment (9479 2186). This will ensure that actions can be appropriately coordinated within the University and with Government health authorities. 
If you become aware of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case amongst students, staff or a campus visitor, or are contacted by placement providers about possible exposures please immediately inform Spomenka Krizmanic.
Support for Students

For students who need support at any time, we’re here for you. Get in touch with the University’s Health and Wellbeing services. Please check the ASK La Trobe webpage for live updates.

COVID-19 Vaccination 

Please consider getting vaccinated if you are eligible. For more information see the Vaccine Eligibility Checker and the Department of Health website.

More information 

Please refer to the Department of Health website. This includes the continually updated list of exposure sites. 

For further information see the University’s COVID FAQs which are regularly updated.