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College Precautions In Relation To The Novel Coron...


College Precautions in Relation to the Novel Coronavirus

This bulletin was last updated at 3pm on 6/2/20.

There has been an outbreak of Novel Coronavirus in the region of Wuhan, Hubei Province China. The virus has reached Australia and NSW Health has advised that a UNSW student has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The student is not a resident of New College or New College Postgraduate Village.

The likelihood of anyone in our colleges or on campus at UNSW having contact with the virus remains very small.

This bulletin is to advise regarding the processes that we have in place to protect each and every member of our communities.

Our advice is to be read in the context of bulletins from:

The World Health Organisation https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/

The Australian Federal Government https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

NSW Health https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

UNSW https://www.unsw.edu.au/advice-on-unsw-response-to-the-coronavirus

UNSW Global https://www.unswglobal.unsw.edu.au/coronavirus-response/

There are three aspects to minimising risks as follows

  1. Protection

a. NSW Health advice is that conventional personal hygiene principles apply:

  • Regular washing of hands - hand sanitisers are maintained at the principal entry points to our colleges.
  • Dispose of all tissues carefully. Waste bins are emptied each day in the public areas of our colleges. Resident room bins are emptied each week.
  • Coughing or sneezing is to be into the elbow not onto hands. Resident advisers and senior residents have been asked to monitor for any poor hygiene behaviour and report any occurrences to the Dean.
  • Cleaning up after meals. Our catering facilities wash all dishes immediately after use. Resident advisers and senior residents have been asked to report any poor food hygiene to the Dean.

b. Masks

2. Diagnosis

a. The instruction of health authorities is that anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should present to a medical practitioner. Our colleges will assist any resident to access such health support.

b. Consistent with the advice of NSW Health, incoming residents travelling from 2019-nCoV countries (currently only China) will be given isolated accommodation until a medical consultation, arranged by the college, has been completed.

c. Any resident who is unwell is encouraged to call our college receptions (monitored 24 hours) on 9381 1999 (New College) and 8344 4500 (NCV).

d. Resident advisers and senior residents have been asked to watch for any resident that they might suspect is in poor health and report this to the Dean.

3. Isolation

a. Consistent with the advice of NSW Health, incoming residents travelling from 2019-nCoV countries (currently only “mainland” China) will be given isolated accommodation until medical clearance, arranged by the college, has been completed.

b. All college staff and residents have been asked to ensure that their visitors have confirmed that they have not travelled from 2019-nCoV countries within the last 14 days.

c. Staff who have visited 2019-nCoV countries have been asked not to report for work until the recommended self-isolation period of 14 days is complete.

d. Please note that “mainland China” does not include Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan. https://dfat.gov.au/geo/hong-kong/Pages/hong-kong-brief.aspx

e. Our colleges have the ability and responsibility to isolate anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms for the recommended period of 14 days.

f. Meals and laundering will be provided to anyone in college who has been isolated.

g. There is no ventilation cross connection between adjacent college bedrooms. This includes the college air conditioning systems.

h. Isolated residents will be permitted to contact the college receptions 9am to 5pm weekdays with personal requests. College will endeavour to accommodate any reasonable request.

i. Precautionary principles will apply. If the Deans or Master are uncertain regarding the health status of an incoming resident, they will be isolated until medical clearance is granted.

One of our sayings in college is “The wellbeing of our residents and staff is our highest operational priority.” Our Deans of Residents and the Master remain on-call 24/7 in case of emergencies via the college reception numbers above.

UNSW is presently finalising adjusted arrangements for study commencing Term 1 2020. For specific information regarding study arrangements, please contact your school or the Nucleus (https://nucleus.unsw.edu.au/contactus).

This bulletin will be updated on an as needs basis.