Important information on the coronavirus for all students and staff

Latest update: Wednesday 5 February, 2020

Chisholm continues to closely monitor the outbreak of the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Coronaviruses are an extremely common cause of colds and other upper respiratory infections including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Although cases have been identified in Australia, current advice from health authorities is that the risk of contracting the virus is low.

What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath. Symptoms can take up to 14 days to develop.

Can I attend Chisholm if I am overseas or have recently returned?

The Commonwealth's Chief Medical Officer and Victoria's Chief Health Officer have recommended a stronger precautionary approach to managing coronavirus for travellers returning from mainland China (not including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) from Saturday 1 February, 2020.

The following staff and students should self-isolate and are advised to stay at home and avoid public settings:

  • People who were in Hubei Province until 14 days after they were last in Hubei Province.
  • People who were in mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 until 14 days after they were last in mainland China.
  • Close contacts of confirmed cases until 14 days after last close contact with the confirmed case.

The Commonwealth has also advised that: “additional border measures will be implemented to deny entry to Australia to people who have left or transited through mainland China from 1 February 2020, with the exception of Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family and air crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment”.

How can Chisholm help?

To support our community and following advice we’ve received from health authorities, we’ve introduced the following:

  • Staff travel to mainland China is on hold for now.
  • We’re actively promoting good hygiene practices wherever we can.
  • There are information updates to staff and students.
  • We’ve installed hand sanitiser stations in campus café’s, reception areas, and libraries.
  • Our student orientation program for international students has been deferred until 20 February, 2020. This will allow all of our international students to start the semester from the same week.

What do I do if I start feeling unwell?

If you become unwell and suspect you may have symptoms of coronavirus, seek medical attention. You can call the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) dedicated coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 for immediate advice and support. This hotline is serviced by Nurse-on-Call.

How can I help prevent the spread of 2019-nCOV?

Following good hygiene practices is one of the most effective ways of protecting yourself and preventing the spread of viruses. Good hygiene practices include:

  • Washing your hands regularly using soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue (throw tissue away immediately and wash hands).
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and a cough.
  • Stay home from work or school if you start feeling unwell.

Where can I get more information?

The Government has also set up the National Coronavirus Health Information Line, provides public health and situation information and is also available on 1800 020 080.

The line operates Monday–Friday from 8am to 8pm, Saturdays from 8am to 5pm, and Sundays from 9am to 5pm. The line will refer requests for medical advice to registered nurses on healthdirect – 1800 022 222. Out of hours, a recorded message refers people to the healthdirect website or nurse line.

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