The Premier has announced today that the current lockdown will be extended across Victoria until at least 11.59pm, Tuesday 27 July. The provisions of the health orders generally remain the same as for the past five days.
Staff and students based at the Sydney Campus should continue to follow NSW Government public health directions and updates from the local Sydney team.
Summary of Victorian Government public health orders
- There remain only five reasons to leave home:
- authorised work
- essential shopping – one person per household, once per day
- exercise – up to two hours, with one other person or members of your household
- caregiving or compassionate reasons
- to get vaccinated against COVID-19, if eligible (see below)
- There is a travel limit of 5km from your place of primary residence except in specified circumstances (e.g. to visit an intimate partner or a person in your ‘single bubble’).
- If you can work/study from home, you must work/study from home.
- Masks must be worn in all settings (indoors and outdoors) when outside your home, unless you have a medical exemption.
- Travel permit provisions for those seeking to come into the State from red zone areas have been significantly tightened (effectively limited to authorised workers and on compassionate grounds only). There are no changes to the current arrangements for border communities.
- From Wednesday 21 July, where a parent or carer indicates that a student with a disability cannot learn from home due to vulnerability or family stress, the school must provide on-site learning for that student.
For more details of what is and is not permitted 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 week commencing Monday 26 July 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: Most teaching that needs to be conducted face to face will have to be replanned, except in the very limited circumstances permitted by Government; namely:
- training and assessment for infection control
- study for final year pre-service early childhood and school teachers (including placements)
- final-year higher education students, who do not have alternative options to complete their study by end of year
- first aid training where required for COVID-19 response
- study for health care workers (including clinical placements)
- clinical health and biomedical science (if required to be on site for the maintenance of essential research activities)
- aged and disability care (including clinical placements)
- Students will be advised directly where face to face classes can continue so please check your email and LMS.
- Placements: Students with placement activities will be contacted directly with advice about the arrangements for your placement. Continuation will depend on the particular circumstances of the placement and placement provider. Students with placements planned but who are unwell or in self-isolation due to a public health order should contact the placement team to discuss alternative arrangements.
- 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.
- Library services: The Borchardt Library at Bundoora and all regional campus libraries remain open as study spaces with limited access. See the Library website for more detail, including building opening hours and support services.
- Support services: All student support services continue to be available remotely and will return to face-to-face operations from Monday 2 August.
- Reintroduction of the V grade: The University has decided to re-introduce the V grade so that students who do not successfully complete their subjects in Semester 2, 2021 (or in any non-standard teaching periods which conclude by 30th November 2021) will receive a V grade.
- The majority of researchers will need to work remotely and all research that can be conducted remotely must be done remotely.
- Essential research requiring site-specific access for experiments or studies can continue (this applies to staff, graduate researchers, Masters by Research and Honours students). Permission for staff, graduate researchers and research students is given by the Dean/Head of School or their delegate.
- Graduate researchers, Masters by Research, Masters by Coursework and Honours students cannot be compelled to attend campus and should have a discussion with their supervisor.
- Essential research and research activities include:
- long term experiments or studies that would otherwise be prohibitive to restart can continue (e.g. commenced clinical trials)
- research addressing the impact of COVID-19 and research in support of the hospital and broader health system. These include clinical trials
- the caring for animals, plants, microbes and cell lines in controlled environments
- storage and management of existing samples and data research infrastructure that are temperature and environmentally sensitive
- maintenance and operation of research equipment and facilities
- Graduate researchers, Masters by Research and Honours students should speak to their supervisor in the first instance before gaining Head of School approval.
- Field work and work in third-party sites that is essential must meet La Trobe University requirements, the external site’s requirements and the State Government requirements. Speak to your line manager in the first instance. Permission can be given by the Dean/Head of School or their delegate.
- On-campus learning and study space will be available within the campus libraries for graduate researchers and honours/master students who cannot work at home (see above).
- Sports: On-campus sporting facilities will be closed and planned sports activities will be cancelled.
- Events: Open Day will proceed online on 1 August, as planned. Details of the in-person activations for Open Day are being reviewed, as required, by the Government’s Public Events team and the University will follow its advice. All other in-person events should be either cancelled, postponed or moved online. For advice around how you can move your event online please contact University Events at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Children’s Centre: will remain open for children of authorised workers.
Reminders for those needing to attend campus
Please follow general COVID safe measures:
- Monitor COVID exposure sites and follow the public health directions.
- 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.
- 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. Even if you have been fully vaccinated, there is a risk you can still transmit the virus to other people.
- 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.
The State has made available financial support to people who have lost paid work. For more information see the Government website.
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.