The University of Newcastle has a comprehensive framework for managing health emergencies and business continuity. We have a team working closely with NSW Health to ensure our response reflects the most up-to-date advice.


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Update - 1 April, 2021

Queensland Health have advised that the 3-day lockdown period in place for the Greater Brisbane area will be lifted today at 5pm as planned. Restrictions will still be in place for the Easter long weekend, so staff and students affected by this lockdown are asked to keep checking the Queensland Health and NSW Health websites for more information over the holiday period.

We are monitoring the emerging situation in the Northern Rivers (Byron Bay) areas of NSW, and ask staff and students who have visited this area of NSW to keep monitoring the NSW Health website for advice and action.

Given the COVID-19 cases in Greater Brisbane and Northern Rivers areas, we encourage our staff and students to rethink non-essential travel to these areas for the time being, and to keep abreast of public health orders in place for these areas as published on the NSW Health website.

Alert - 30 March, 2021

As you may be aware, locally acquired COVID-19 cases have been detected in Queensland. QLD Health has advised that Greater Brisbane will enter a three-day lockdown from 5pm Monday 29 March.

As a precaution, we are asking that any staff and students who have been in Greater Brisbane since March 20 to follow lockdown measures.

For staff, this means working from home if possible (please liaise with your supervisor) and for students, this means not coming to campus until the lockdown period ends or you receive a further update from the University, letting you know it’s OK to do so.

NSW Health has advised:

NSW Health is also urging anyone who has been in the Byron Bay area with even the mildest of symptoms to come forward for testing and self-isolate immediately.

If you are contacted by either QLD or NSW Health, please advise health.response@newcastle.edu.au that this has occurred.

As this is an evolving situation, please monitor the QLD Health and NSW Health websites, and/or their other communication channels, such as Twitter.

These alerts are a reminder of the importance of continued vigilance for COVID-19, and the need to

  1. Continue to monitor for symptoms and if they occur, get tested and stay at home until a negative result is achieved.
  2. Practice good hand hygiene.
  3. Practice social distancing.
  4. Use QR codes to check-in to all venues.

General advice

  • We encourage everyone on our campuses to adhere to handwashing and hygiene practices and practice social distancing.
  • If you are feeling unwell, please do not visit our campuses and please seek medical support.
  • Please take your own measures to respond to COVID-19 in line with Australian Government COVID-19 guidelines.
Information for our residents Student living portal

Current status

Callaghan, City, Ourimbah

Action:

Staff and students are expected to:

  • Stay at home if you have COVID-19 symptoms and get tested. Do not return to campus until you receive a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • Maintain good hand and cough hygiene.
  • Be aware of social distancing requirements and try to keep 1.5m between you and others.
  • Work from home if you are classified as at high risk, or negotiate a safe return to work with your health care provider
  • Comply with COVID-safe room occupancy signs (2 square metre rule), except where this is higher than the teaching capacity or health and safety restrictions on that room. Note that the 2 square metre rule minimises the risk of transmission of COVID-19 when in a teaching, research, office, meeting space.
  • Follow all directions within relevant Public Health Order(s).
  • Follow the University’s guide to hosting authorised visitors on campus.
  • Review events involving 50 or more externals with Health.Response@Newcastle.edu.au.
  • Apply caution when serving refreshments: for instance, no sharing of food platters.
  • Follow NSW Health Advice.

Sydney

Action:

Staff and students are expected to

  • Stay at home if you have COVID-19 symptoms and get tested. Do not return to campus until you receive a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • Maintain good hand and cough hygiene.
  • Be aware of social distancing requirements and try to keep 1.5m between you and others.
  • Work from home if you are classified as at risk.
  • Comply with COVID-safe room occupancy signs (2 square metre rule), except where this is higher than the teaching capacity or health and safety restrictions on that room. Note that the 2 square metre rule minimises the risk of transmission of COVID-19 when in a teaching, research, office, meeting space.
  • Follow all directions within relevant Public Health Order(s).
  • Not host non-essential visitors
  • Apply caution when serving refreshments: for instance, no sharing of food platters
  • Follow NSW Health Advice

How to get tested

Testing Centre open on Callaghan Campus

NSW Health Pathology is now operating the COVID-19 drive through testing clinic at the University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus ICT Carpark 1.

Anyone can come and get tested if you feel unwell, even if you only have mild symptoms. The clinic is open every day, from 8am-4pm.

Peak periods are early morning and late afternoon so if possible, please try to visit the drive through clinic outside of these times. No appointment necessary, just drive on up!

Please note: Babies and children under five need to be tested at hospital or their GP.

Service NSW QR Codes now in use

The University’s priority is the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our staff, students, and visitors to campus.

We want our campuses to continue to be vibrant, engaging spaces, and we can continue to support this under COVID-19 Normal conditions. Until the risks of COVID-19 are eliminated, e.g., through vaccination roll-out, we must remain alert to transmission risks and protect our communities via a COVID-19 Normal practice. This is essential so that staff, student and visitors can continue to work, study and live across our campuses and in our neighbourhoods safely.

The University will be implementing the Service NSW COVID Safe check-in system across all our campuses and venues.Whilst on campus, visitors to any facility owned or operated by the University of Newcastle must use the Service NSW COVID Safe check-in app or web-based service upon entry.  Service NSW QR codes are displayed on all buildings and facilities across all campuses and in large common areas within buildings. This is a mandatory condition of entry to any and all buildings or facilities during a visit to campus, and I thank you in advance for using the QR code system during your visit.

Please adhere to following four practices:

  1. If you are unwell, stay at home. If you have flu-like symptoms, please do not come to campus until you have received a negative COVID-19 test result. The Callaghan campus has a NSW Health COVID-19 testing facility on campus. For other sites, please find your nearest testing facility here
  2. Practice good hand hygiene. See the recommended hand hygiene techniques to maximise sanitation.
  3. Always maintain social distancing practices of 1.5 metres and be mindful that fellow staff, students, or visitors may not be comfortable with physical contact regardless of the current risk of community transmission of COVID-19. Check the current social distancing recommendations here.
  4. Face masks and coverings are recommended if social distancing cannot be maintained, if this is your personal protection choice, and in cases where it is mandated to use. The current mandate for the wearing of face masks for NSW is here. If you are visiting any NSW or interstate COVID-19 case locations or areas of concern, we recommend face masks are worn when travelling into or out of these areas in addition to practices 1-3 above, and following the advice of NSW Health upon your return.

Are the University Libraries still open?

Library buildings are open to university students, staff and our Community Borrowers membership holders. These members no longer require swipe card access. Social distancing measures are in place to help keep everyone safe. You will notice signage around the Library spaces that indicate the number of people that each space can accommodate and the seating capacity in our Group Study rooms has also been reduced so please check the room information before Booking a Study Space. At this time, no general community members or non-university students can access libraries.

I’m a contractor that works at your campus. How can I get more information?

Please talk to your University contact. If you need further information, email health.response@newcastle.edu.au and read the information on this website.

I am a visitor to campus. What do I need to do?

Visitors are now welcome to attend our campuses but must complete the Authorised Visitor Form and check-in using the building specific QR codes when they arrive at campus.

Travel advice

No international travel for work or study is permitted at this time. Domestic travel is permitted within NSW and to anywhere in Australia where state border crossing does not require quarantine arrangements.

Increased hygiene measures

Hand washing is the most effective way to protect yourself.

Keeping work and study environments clean may also help to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other infections such as the common cold.

We ask students, staff and visitors to our campuses take the precautions advised by the public health experts including:

  • Hand washing for 40 - 60 seconds with soap
  • Using hand sanitiser
  • Following coughing and sneezing etiquette

Please observe and comply with health-related signage around the University.

Travel and health information

For the most up-to-date information, visit:

Student Hardship Fund Crucial assistance to students facing emergency situations

Information for media

Journalists, please direct all media enquiries to media@newcastle.edu.au

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.