COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 22 October 2021, 8am (AEST)

COVID-19 Advice Information for Students

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Information for Students

The COVID-19 situation has meant necessary changes to teaching and learning at JCU in order to keep our community safe. JCU official communications, government resources, and other important information have been gathered together below to keep you up to date and supported during this time. For subject specific information and support, be sure to stay in touch with your lecturers and tutors.

Campus Access and Facilities

Find out more about return to campus protocols, campus access and facilities information.

Official Communications

Copies of recent communication sent to students are below. For more, view the COVID-19 Student Communication page.

2021

To: Division of Tropical Health and Medicine Students

Approved by: Maree Dinan-Thompson, DVC Students

Date: 11 October 2021


Dear Students,

The ability for students to continue to access clinical placements, and the conditions placed around that access (including proof of COVID-19 vaccination), are decisions that are made by placement providers.

On Thursday, 30th September 2021, Queensland Chief Health Officer and Deputy Director-General, Dr Jeannette Young, advised universities of the changed vaccination requirements that now apply to students attending clinical placements in Queensland Health facilities.

  • Students may attend clinical placements in facilities within restricted and impacted areas if they are fully vaccinated; and
  • All students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Thursday, 11 November 2021 (i.e., have completed the prescribed number of doses of COVID -19 vaccine approved by the TGA for use in Australia) to enter Queensland Health Facilities for the purpose of undertaking a clinical placement after this date.

More information is available at https://www.health.qld.gov.au/employment/clinical-placement/covid-19-and-clinical-placements.

If your placement is not with a QLD Health facility and you are in a restricted LGA, please contact your placement coordinator to check if you can continue with your placement.

Mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 for Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) and Multipurpose Health Services (MPHS)

On 28 June 2021, National Cabinet agreed on changes to vaccination against COVID-19 for the aged care workforce (including students on placement). Specifically:

  • that at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine be administered by 16 September 2021 for all RACF and MPHS workforce.
  • that all RACF and MPHS workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by 31 October 2021, as a condition of working in a Residential Aged Care or Multipurpose Health facility.

COVID-19 Vaccination information for Healthcare students

JCU recommends that Healthcare students who undertake clinical placements as part of their Course requirements be vaccinated against COVID-19 to ensure they can attend clinical placement.

QLD Health - Vaccination clinics include:

Remember to take your JCU Clinical ID Card and Medicare Card to your vaccination appointment.

After each vaccination, please submit your COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (available through myGov) or other evidence to dthmplacements@jcu.edu.au and update your Qld Health Student Orientation Checklist to include your COVID-19 vaccination details. You can obtain evidence of vaccination from the Australian Immunisation Register. Further information is available here.

Regards,

James Cook University

CRICOS Provider Code 00117J (QLD)

To: JCU Townsville Community

Approved by: Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff

Action required: Note updates to the testing clinic location, and updated exposure sites

Date: 30 September 2021 – 3.15pm


Restrictions in place from 4pm

As per my earlier Info_BYTE, Stage 2 restrictions apply in Townsville and Palm Island from 4pm today. Please monitor the list of low risk, casual contact and close contact tracing exposure sites.

Update to location of COVID testing station on Bebegu Yumba Campus

The location of the QML drive through COVID-19 testing clinic has shifted to car parks PE3 (across from Nursing Building 25) and PE10 (James Cook Drive east roadside and service road), and will be operating from 8.00am Friday, 1st October.

As a result, there are some traffic and parking changes to be aware of while this clinic operates. Car parks PE3 and PE10 will be unavailable for use from 6pm today. To identify alternative parking locations suitable to your study and work requirements, please check the map attached and follow parking signage.

Queensland Police and Traffic control will be on site managing traffic with the James Cook Drive ring road to become one-way from south of Building 17, north to Mt Stuart Street (see attached). There will be a slip lane available for those vehicles not wanting to join the testing queue to continue past the clinic. Please observe all signage and directions of traffic controllers.

Contact the Estate Office if you have any questions: estate@jcu.edu.au or 4781 4444

For more information, please contact Vanessa Cannon at chiefofstaff@jcu.edu.au

To: The JCU Community

Approved by: Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff

Action required: COVID Positive case in Townsville – contact tracing underway

Date: 30 September 2021 – 11 am


As announced by the Premier this morning, Qld Health, a person in Townsville has tested positive to COVID. Queensland Health will provide a list of low risk, casual contact and close contact tracing exposure sites, as quickly as possible.

As per the Chief Health Officer’s urging for residents of Townsville, it is exceptionally important that anyone displaying any COVID-like symptoms get tested, and stay home and isolate until you get the results and your symptoms resolve. As a reminder, the Queensland Public Health Unit are the only authorised contact tracers.

Increased restrictions in place

Stage 2 restrictions apply in affected LGAs being Townsville (including Palm Island), Logan, Moreton, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. This means for JCU:

  • Masks must be worn at all times:

    a) Outdoors unless: alone or with members of your household; eating or drinking; doing strenuous exercise or it is unsafe.

    b) Indoors: including workplaces, all teaching venues, labs, meeting and shared spaces - even where physical distancing is possible - unless it is unsafe or you are working alone in a closed office.

  • The reduction in seating capacity for large amphitheatres and stadiums does not apply to JCU given the size of the venues, but social distancing should be maintained where possible. You must Check In to your building and/or venue using the QR Codes.

The Campuses remain open, and all activities will be occurring as scheduled, noting there may be some disruptions if staff or students are in isolation whilst waiting for test results. Staff and students must comply with the restrictions indicated above.

If you are in quarantine because of a Qld health direction or have been to an exposure site as a close or casual contact, please continue to forward your quarantine notification form to whsnotification@jcu.edu.au when you commence your quarantine period. This prompts a number of welfare supports to staff and students throughout your quarantine.

COVID testing station on Bebegu Yumba Campus

A testing station operated by QML will be established in the Veterinary Sciences car park on campus, with access via the turnoff to the Vet Clinic, traffic exiting the testing station will use Solander Road. This means the PE4 Vet Car park will be closed to staff and students whilst the testing clinic is in place. Traffic control will be in place, but avoid using the Discovery Rise entrance where possible.

QR Codes

Whenever you see a QR code on the entrance to a building or a teaching or meeting space – please Check In. This assists contact tracers.

A clarifying point - if a member of staff or student is notified that they are a close contact through contact tracing, there is no requirement for other students or staff members who have engaged with that close contact person on the campus (secondary contacts) to also quarantine at that point – unless they are a member of the same household.

Employers (ie JCU) and their staff can’t direct people to quarantine if they are secondary contacts. It is only Qld Health contact tracers who have the authority in Qld to direct people to quarantine and undertake testing under the Public Health Act 2005.

If a person has a concern for their health given someone they know has been identified as a close contact, they should contact call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) to discuss.

Please also monitor the Queensland Health website for updates.

For more information, please contact Vanessa Cannon at chiefofstaff@jcu.edu.au

To: All Townsville Staff and Students

From: Drew Kleier, WHS Biological, Radiation and Chemicals Safety Advisor

Approved by: Alison Scott, Divisional Executive Officer

Action: JCU Health appointments available for COVID-19 Vaccinations

Date: 30 August 2021


COVID 19 Vaccinations

JCU Health, located in the Clinical Practice Building on the Bebegu Yumba Campus, is now able to provide COVID-19 Vaccinations. JCU supports the COVID-19 vaccination roll out and strongly encourages eligible staff and students to be vaccinated as recommended by the Government, and on the advice of a health practitioner.

Before arranging an appointment please check your current eligibility for vaccination.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, contact JCU Health on 4781 4495 to make an appointment. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria just yet, please continue to monitor website, and further advice from the University.

Information regarding COVID-19 Vaccinations can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health Webpage.

JCU Health is located at:

JCU Health
Level 1, Clinical Practice Building
1 James Cook Drive
James Cook University Qld 4811

For more information, please contact the Work Health and Safety Unit at safety@jcu.edu.au

To: The JCU Community

Approved by: Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff

Action required: Cairns Lockdown lifting

Date: 11th August 2021 – 11.30 am


Cairns lockdown lifting – but restrictions in place

As announced by Qld Health, the lockdown for Cairns and Yarrabah will be lifting from 4pm today. Some restrictions will continue to apply, as they are in SE Qld, until Sunday, 22 August, including:

  • Mask wearing at all times including workplaces, teaching and research spaces – even when social distancing is possible – except:

-        when eating or drinking, or exercising with your household or one other person.

-        you are alone in an office or other room in the workplace with the door closed

-        it is unsafe to wear a mask

·        10 people in your home, including people who live there

·        Community sport not permitted

·        Visitors are allowed to hospitals, aged care and disability accommodation (noting students on placement are not considered visitors and may be subject to other restrictions)

The full list of restrictions can be found on Qld roadmap to easing restrictions site.

There have been additional venues added to the current list of exposure venues and dates in Queensland,  please continue to monitor these and the related health advice for anyone who has been to any of those locations at the relevant date and time.

As per the Chief Health Officer’s urging for residents of Cairns and Yarrabah, please continue to get tested if you have even the mildest symptoms.

If you are in quarantine because of a Qld health direction or have been to an exposure site as a close or casual contact, please continue to forward your quarantine notification form to whsnotification@jcu.edu.au when you commence your quarantine period. This prompts a number of welfare supports to staff and students throughout their quarantine period.

Contact tracing

A clarifying point - if a member of staff or student is notified that they are a close contact through contact tracing, there is no requirement for other students or staff members who have  engaged with that close contact person on the campus (secondary contacts) to also quarantine at that point, unless they are a member of the same household.

Employers (ie JCU) and their staff can’t direct people to quarantine if they are secondary contacts. It is only Qld Health contact tracers who have the authority in Qld to direct people to quarantine and undertake testing under the Public Health Act 2005.

If a person has a concern for their health given someone they know has been identified as a close contact, they should contact call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) to discuss.

This reinforces however, the importance of QR Codes to support contact tracing. Please continue to diligently Check In where QR codes are presented around the JCU Campuses.

For more information, please contact Vanessa Cannon at chiefofstaff@jcu.edu.au

Dear Students,

The James Cook University (JCU), Chief-of-Staff distributed a COVID-19 Cairns three-day lockdown communication to all students on Sunday 8 August. A copy of the communication can be found on the COVID-19 Information for students webpage.

In addition to this, please find below key information for students regarding the lockdown and how this will impact studies for the next three-days.

Cairns Library and Campus Closure

Please be reminded that the Cairns Library on the Cairns Nguma-bada Campus is now closed until Thursday 12 August, pending any further restrictions.

All other Library services are still available for students including online chat. Visit the JCU Library web page for more information.

Both the Cairns Nguma-bada Campus and Cairns City Campus is also closed to all students until lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Online Learning

Online Learning is now in place for Cairns based students for the next three days. Students should contact their subject coordinator for further information on their learning requirements.

Students on Placement

Students including those who are vaccinated, who are attending clinical placements at Queensland Health facilities within Cairns or Yarrabah, or that have travelled from these LGAs are not permitted to undertake the clinical placement during the next seven days and should remain in their accommodation at all other times unless leaving for a permitted purpose.

All other students are permitted to resume clinical placements from Monday 9 August 2021 if they are fully vaccinated.

Testing Requirements

  • Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, should immediately get tested and remain isolated until they receive a result.
  • Anyone who has attended an identified exposure site, must immediately obtain a COVID-19 test, and remain isolated until results are received.

Further details of restrictions in place for the Cairns region and other areas of Queensland, are available at the Queensland COVID-19 website.

For any additional student enquiries, please contact the Student Centre.

Regards,

James Cook University

CRICOS Provider Code 00117J (QLD)

To: The JCU Community

Approved by: Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff

Action required: Cairns 3 Day Lockdown directions

Date: 8th August 2021 – 2.20pm


Cairns 3 day lockdown

As announced this morning, from 4pm Sunday 8th August 2021, a 3 day lockdown will be in place for the following Local Government Areas (LGAs):

  • Cairns
  • Yarrabah

Anyone in the affected LGAs will be required to stay at home except for essential reasons. Unless you have been identified as an essential worker by JCU – you are to work from home. Where essential work is required, and you cannot do this from home – approval must be given by your Dean/Director to do so.

You can only leave your residence for limited permitted purposes such as:

  • obtaining essential goods or services, including healthcare (including vaccinations)
  • exercise
  • attending essential work or childcare
  • assisting vulnerable persons

The Cairns Library on the Nguma-bada Campus will be closed from 3pm this afternoon until Thursday morning, pending any further restrictions.

The Cairns City Campus will be closed from 3pm this afternoon until lockdown restrictions are lifted.

You can return to your home outside of Cairns or Yarrabah, but you must follow the same lockdown rules when you return home, regardless of where your destination is.

Please get tested if you have even the mildest symptoms.

See the current list of exposure venues and dates in Queensland and related health advice for anyone who has been to any of those locations at the relevant date and time.

SE Qld Lockdown lifted

From 4pm Sunday 8 August, the 11 Local Government Areas in South East Queensland will come out of lockdown. Some restrictions will continue to apply for the next two weeks, including:

  • Mask wearing at all times (including workplaces) except when eating or drinking, or exercising with your household or one other person.
  • 10 people in your home, including people who live there
  • Community sport not permitted
  • Avoid travelling to regional Queensland
  • Visitors are allowed to hospitals, aged care and disability accommodation.

Please monitor the Queensland Health website for updates.

For more information, please contact Vanessa Cannon at chiefofstaff@jcu.edu.au

To: The JCU Community

Approved by: Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff

Action required: COVID update

Date: 5th August – 5.00pm


Update

The Queensland Government’s briefing this morning was good news for the Cairns community with no additional cases for the City overnight, and the 16 new cases in Brisbane are all linked to the Indooroopilly cluster, with most being in quarantine for their infectious period.

Staff and students do need to keep checking the exposure sites as per my previous Info_BYTE, and keep sending the quarantine notification forms in to WHS.

Whilst it is hoped that the current lockdown in the 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in South East Queensland will lift at 4:00pm on Sunday, 8th August, please note that anyone who has been in these areas since, 1am on Saturday 31st July - and the members of their household - must follow all restrictions and lockdown rules even if they are no longer in those areas.

If you are returning to student accommodation on campus or on placement from any of the LGAs in lockdown, please discuss this with your residential Colleges/placement coordinators before you travel given the potential impact on other students.

Masks

The conflicting advice on the Qld Health websites on mandatory mask wearing for the Rest of Queensland has now been clarified as per below:

Rest of Queensland (outside of South East Queensland locked down areas):  You are only required to wear a mask in some locations such as airports on domestic flights and in stadiums. You do not need to wear a mask if you:

  • have not in a locked down area, or
  • have not been in a South East Queensland locked down area at any time since 1am 29 June; or
  • do not reside in the same household as a person who has been in a locked down area at any time from 1am 31 July 2021

Qld Health recommends everyone else in Qld should keep a mask with them for added protection where physical distancing may not be able to be maintained.

QR Codes

Whenever you see a QR code on the entrance to a building or a teaching or meeting space – please Check In. This assists contact tracers.

Updated JCU COVID procedures

The University’s Work Health and Safety procedures and guidelines related to COVID-19 have been updated, particularly for events on campus reflecting the easing of restrictions, simplification of checklists and changes to approval processes. Please see the WHS website.

Please also continue to monitor the Queensland Health website for updates.

To: The JCU Community

Approved by: Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff

Action required: Review list of COVID exposure sites – Cairns region

Date: 3rd August – 7.05pm


Exposure sites for close contact, casual contact and low risk sites

Queensland Health has now posted to their website the contact tracing locations for:

* Cairns

* Trinity Beach

* Yorkeys Knob

For a full list of locations and advice on what to do if you've been to a venue, visit https://www.health.qld.gov.au/tracing. This page will be progressively updated as new locations are released.

If you have been to any location listed as a close contact or casual contact site at the relevant times, you must immediately quarantine and get tested at the earliest opportunity.

Click on the hyperlinked location to complete your contact tracing form, for that location. Note:

* Close contacts need to quarantine for 14 days regardless of test results.

* Casual contacts quarantine until a negative test result is received.

* Low risk contacts do not need to quarantine, but should get tested.

Quarantine notifications:

Complete a quarantine notification form and email it to whsnotification@jcu.edu.au when you commence your quarantine period. Once the required period of quarantine is completed, staff and students are asked to complete a declaration of fitness to return to work/study.

Please continue to monitor the Queensland Health website for updates.

For more information, please contact Vanessa Cannon at chiefofstaff@jcu.edu.au

To: The JCU Community

Approved by: Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff

Action required: QLD COVID-19 directions

Date: 3rd August – 3.15pm


Potential positive COVID-19 in Cairns

The media has reported a positive COVID case in Cairns.

Queensland Health reports that they are aware of a notification of a potential positive COVID-19 case in the Cairns area. Queensland Health advises that the case is yet to be confirmed. If it is confirmed, they will provide a list of potential contact tracing venues – exposure sites, as quickly as possible.

The Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT) has met to review the University’s procedures should the campus be impacted. The team is actively engaged and will work with Public Health authorities if, and when required.

URGENT REMINDERS:

The Queensland Public Health Unit are the only authorised contact tracers. Employers do not provide advice on whether an individual is a close contact or a COVID positive person or not.

Exposure sites – when identified – will be published on the Qld Health website.

QR Codes

Whenever you see a QR code on the entrance to a building or a teaching or meeting space – please Check In. This assists contact tracers.

COVID Testing

It is exceptionally important that anyone displaying any COVID-like symptoms get tested, and stay home and isolate until you get the results and your symptoms resolve. Anyone who has attended an identified exposure site, must immediately obtain a COVID-19 test, and remain isolated until results are received.

Quarantine notifications:

There will be staff and students who have been directed into 14 day quarantine by a GP or medical clinic (as a precaution) or the Public Health Unit (due to contact tracing and/or COVID testing). These quarantine directions remain in force for some individuals given the nature of their potential contact, and regardless of negative test results.

JCU asks that these students and staff complete a quarantine notification form and email it to whsnotification@jcu.edu.au as soon as they commence the quarantine period.

The collection of information on the quarantine notification form is to ensure JCU is well placed to respond rapidly and accurately to any positive cases impacting on the JCU community, and to ensure that any staff or students impacted by COVID-19 and/or quarantine are in receipt of academic, welfare or other support.

Once the required period of quarantine is completed, staff and students are asked to complete a declaration of fitness to return to work/study.

Further updates will be provided.

Please monitor the Queensland Health website for updates.

For more information, please contact Vanessa Cannon at chiefofstaff@jcu.edu.au