COVID Update

Important COVIDSafe behaviours

With more people and increasing activity on campus, please continue to remind students and staff about their role in keeping our campuses COVIDSafe, including these key behaviours:

  1. Do not attend campus if you have any of the following symptoms, however mild: fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss or change in sense of taste or smell.
  2. Even if you test negative on a rapid antigen test but continue to experience symptoms, rule 1 applies!
  3. Follow this guide to notify the Public Health Network if you are a household contact, or if you test positive for COVID-19 and have been on campus in the 48 hours prior to testing positive.
  4. Check the list of cases on campus regularly.
  5. While masks are no longer required in most settings, people are encouraged to wear them to reduce their own risk, especially where physical distancing is not possible. 
    Local areas should continue to make surgical masks available via local distribution points and direct students and staff to the combined distribution points on campus for P2 masks and RATs. Students must register first and show their confirmation email to receive P2 masks
  6. Encourage students and staff to take part in the University’s voluntary asymptomatic testing program.

Requirements for household contacts

Household contacts, also known as close contacts, no longer need to quarantine if they follow additional precautions as outlined in the Victorian Government’s Checklist for COVID contacts.

However, household contacts attending the University campus are encouraged wherever possible to work and study from home.

Where an individual who is a household contact needs to access campus, they can, but they must follow relevant health orders and:

  • only attend campus if they are symptom-free
  • notify our Public Health Network and their supervisor/course coordinator
  • have a negative RAT result each day before attending campus
  • wear a mask at all times on campus
  • follow any other advice from the Public Health Network.

The University will provide students and staff who are household contacts with additional RATs and P2 masks via existing distribution points.

Due to the sensitive nature of the following settings, additional precautions apply for:

  • student accommodation – residents classified as household contacts must quarantine for 7 days
  • early childhood centres – household contacts must not attend for 7 days (position subject to review)

Additional guidance on household contacts attending campus and for people who have recently recovered from COVID-19 is available on the testing and notification page of our dedicated COVID-19 website.

COVID-19 staff entitlements

The University continues to offer the following special COVID-19 entitlements for all staff:

  • Special Leave (Quarantine) – continuing or fixed-term staff
  • COVID-19 Special Payment – casual staff

In line with the recent changes to household contact requirements, staff can access these entitlements if they are:

  • required to isolate under public health orders, including positive COVID-19 cases* and household contacts who are unable to work (the government-mandated period is currently 7 days); or
  • symptomatic exposed persons awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Further information about these entitlements is available on Staff Hub.

* Positive COVID-19 case = positive PCR result or rapid antigen test

Household contacts who are asymptomatic and/or able to work can opt to work from home or, if required, attend campus. Household contacts who need to attend campus must comply with requirements outlined above.

COVIDSafe plans

The University’s COVIDSafe Plan has been revised following recent Pandemic Order updates and a draft is currently available for consultation. Consultation is open until 4pm, Friday 20 May and elected employee Health and Safety Representatives have been actively invited to provide feedback. View the draft plan at https://safety.unimelb.edu.au/management/communication/consultation.

Please review your local COVIDSafe plans to ensure they reflect recent Pandemic Order updates and include any local requirements not covered by the University level plan.

More updated resources

We’ve also reviewed and updated the following resources to ensure they reflect the recent Pandemic Order changes:

Other important reminders:

  • Please check the list of on-campus exposures before leaving home and follow any associated advice.
  • If you have any symptoms, however mild, do not attend campus – get tested for COVID-19. Even if you test negative on a rapid antigen test, do not attend campus until you are symptom-free.
  • A range of support services are available to students and staff.
  • The University will continue to publish the latest information on its dedicated COVID-19 website.