UNE remains in constant communication and consultation with Federal and State authorities to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Armidale Campus is still open. We continue to follow the advice of NSW Health and Federal Government advice when making decisions about our sites. In line with the latest Government announcement, movement on campus is now limited to two people at a time and staying at least 1.5 metres apart. Face-to-face conversations in offices and other areas of work have also been restricted to two people at least 1.5 metres apart.
More staff have transitioned to working from home and Armidale on-campus and residential students have been advised to consider returning home and continue their studies online.
As of this date no UNE staff or students have tested positive for COVID-19. A number of individuals continue to self-isolate whilst they await approved test results.
UNE has cancelled in-person, paper based exams for Trimester 1. Details and timetables are now available.
UNE has advised that all intensives starting from April 2020 will be postponed, deferred or re-profiled.
The University is following approved Emergency Management protocols and has established a Special Incident Group who meet daily to manage the prevention and containment of COVID-19 infections as this pandemic evolves.
In light of growing concerns, the Special Incident Group (C19) has decided to share key directives daily through this central communications portal.
Individuals and designated groups should note the communications below and consider appropriate actions.
Still current at: 5 April 2020
Updated: 31 March 2020
To the UNE Community,
UNE continues to implement a ‘containment and prevention’ strategy based on advice from Public Health specialists. Proactive personal hygiene measures and respectful social distancing remain our best defence.
In line with the latest Government announcement, movement on campus is now limited to two people at a time and staying at least 1.5 metres apart. Face-to-face conversations in offices and other areas of work have also been restricted to two people at least 1.5 metres apart.
The Armidale campus is open. SportUNE, Booloominbah Collection and the 'Stro are closed until further notice. Café Life is open and providing takeaway options from 8am-2pm, Monday to Friday.
UNE Study Centres access has been suspended until further notice. The UNE Study Centres team in your region is available to assist students via Phone, Email, Video Chat and AskUNE.
Special arrangements are currently in place for the UNE Regional Study Centres at Coonabarabran, Gunnedah, Moree, Narrabri, Inverell and Tenterfield.
More staff have transitioned to working from home.
Armidale on-campus and residential students have been advised to consider returning home and continue their studies online. No College-based UNE student electing to transition home and study online will be charged for accommodation while they are away.
UNE will continue to provide appropriate support to different student groups completing intensives, field trips etc. provided the activity satisfies the risk assessment. All students can complete their course online and will be supported if they need to change their mode of study.
Funding has been made available from the University to support quick response grants for UNE students experiencing financial hardship impacting their ability to continue their academic studies (course program or research) at the University.
Cyber-security warning: The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has warned of a significant increase in people being targeted with COVID-19 related scams and phishing emails. Staff and students are urged to remain vigilant whilst working online. See the link to Stay Smart Online for more.
To further ensure that our business continuity plans address the safety and well-being of staff and students, UNE has agreed to:
- Limit support for external community activities;
- Limit key small-scale gatherings to less than two hours;
- Maintain a strong commitment to effective social distancing and encourage all to maintain a distance of more than 1.5 metres for person-to-person interactions;
- Provide boxed and wrapped single-serve food in the Colleges and campus cafes;
- Use only disposable cups, table ware and cutlery;
- Encourage individuals with compromised immunity systems to seek medical advice and self-isolate at home;
- Make provision for an enhanced number of flu vaccinations when supplies become available in April;
- Increase the cleaning rotas in priority public places; and
- Boost Student Hardship Funds.
Going forward, UNE will also:
- Promote virtual meeting technologies (e.g. ZOOM) as the preferred mode for business meetings;
- Develop practical ‘work from home’ scenarios for staff;
- Extend on-campus quarantine facilities at the Armidale campus; and
- Agree to special provisions to support casual staff.
Please continue to observe enhanced hygiene practices and connect with all public health advisory notices.
Authorised by Professor Brigid Heywood, Vice Chancellor and CEO