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.

Official Communications

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

2022

To: All Staff/All Students

From: Andrew Reddicliffe, Work Health and Safety Manager

Approved by: Alison Scott, Divisional Executive Officer

Action: Guidelines for Close Contacts in Queensland

Date: 5 May 2022


The Queensland Government has changed quarantine requirements for close contacts of COVID diagnosed persons. Note, the definition of close contact has not changed. As a reminder, you are a close contact if:

  • you have been with a person that has COVID-19 for more than four hours in a house or other accommodation, a care facility or similar, or
  • you live with a person that has COVID-19 and have had more than four hours contact with them in the household setting.
  • You are a close contact from the date the person diagnosed with COVID-19 took the test that returned a positive result.

If you have had COVID-19 in the previous 12 weeks, you are not classed as a close contact.

If you are a close contact with NO symptoms:

You are free to attend JCU for work or study, but you must wear a mask at all times when you are outside of your home, and where possible, avoid large social gatherings or crowded indoor events. Monitor for symptoms for 7 days from the last time someone in your household tested positive.

Students attending placements in hospitals, aged care and disability facilities will be subject to additional conditions, please contact your placement host provider and advise them that you are a close contact.

If you are a Close contact WITH symptoms:

If you have or develop COVID-19 symptoms you must stay at home until your symptoms resolve. Test for COVID-19 as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms.

If the immediate test is negative, you should still stay home for the day. If the next day the sore throat is gone, your symptoms have gone, you may leave the house following the requirements for close contacts with no symptoms.

If your test is negative, but symptoms persist or worsen, you should seek medical advice.

COVID notification forms:

JCU only requires notification forms to be provided if you are COVID positive, forms are no longer required if you are a close contact.

For more information, please contact Andrew Reddcliffe on 4781 5290 or at safety@jcu.edu.au

To: The JCU Community

Approved by: Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff

Action required: COVID - note the reminders on mask wearing and other requirements

Date: 28 January 2022 –12.30pm


As we prepare for more activity on campus in the lead up to orientation week, it is timely to be reminded of the requirements for mask wearing and other matters to ensure the health and safety of our staff, students and broader JCU community. We know that COVID-19 is circulating in our JCU communities, and together we can be COVID safe if we do the following:

  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters as soon as eligible.
  • Wear your mask (see further below).
  • Do not attend campus if you have symptoms of any kind, are in isolation or quarantine, or waiting on a test result. Please refer to the Leave Procedure for more information about when to book leave based on your circumstance.
  • Keep your 1.5 metre distance.
  • Be patient and flexible as disruption to studies and work occur due to quarantine and isolation requirements.

JCU will continue to follow the guidelines as per the Queensland Government's roadmap to easing restrictions. Please let the university know if you are a positive COVID-19 case or a close contact.

Mask wearing

Face mask requirements across Queensland include all indoor settings except for in the home. This means you must wear a mask indoors at JCU unless:

  • eating or drinking
  • undertaking work or education for which clear enunciation or visibility of the mouth is essential
  • you are sitting at a workplace or standing at a workstation and can maintain physical distance from other persons. However, if you are moving around the workplace or you have frequent contact with people (such as at a reception desk) you must wear a face mask.
  • you have a medical exemption
  • where asked to remove a face mask for identity purposes
  • wearing a mask creates a risk to a person’s health and safety (ie during strenuous exercise)

For staff who are teaching, you may remove your mask whilst delivering the lesson.

A person who removes their face mask under an exemption under the Public Health Face Mask Requirements Direction must resume wearing the face mask as soon as practicable after the circumstances of the exemption ends.

You do not need to wear a mask outdoors if you can remain 1.5 metres away from others.

Working from home

Given the transmission within the community and quarantine and isolation requirements, as well as the delayed start to the school year, JCU acknowledges that flexibility will be required for working on campus or at home. Consistent with the comments of the Queensland Chief Health Officer, and where circumstances allow, managers can approve for their staff to work from home, and/or flexibly at this time.

The ability to support working from home will be dependent on a person’s individual circumstances, and JCU’s work requirements, which means some staff members will need to attend the campus for all or part of their work. Any flexibility or work from home must be approved by your supervisor.

Vulnerable people

Those who are at greater risk of developing severe illness with COVID-19 should consider their circumstances and how best they can minimise the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19. A guideline and risk assessment tool is available to assist with this process.

Further updates will be provided.

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: Note the updates to JCU procedures and public health requirements

Date: 11 January 2022 – 4.00pm


Updates to JCU Procedures for COVID

JCU has revised the WHS Guideline on the University’s Response to COVID Positive Cases and Close Contacts given the recent changes announced in my previous Info_BYTEs of 21 December 2021 and 3 January 2022, and additional changes to testing, quarantine and isolation requirements for diagnosed COVID positive persons and their close contacts.

Please make sure you are familiar with the latest requirements for confirmed cases and close contacts, and this has been reflected in the updated procedure:

·        If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you must immediately isolate, for 7 days from the date you took your COVID-19 test.

·        If you are a close contact of a diagnosed case of COVID-19 you must:

-       if you have symptoms, get tested and immediately quarantine, for 7 days from the date the diagnosed case took their COVID-19 test

-       if you don’t have symptoms, immediately quarantine, for 7 days from the date the diagnosed case took their COVID-19 test. You will need a negative day 6 test to be released from quarantine.

Close contacts are household members or household-like contacts of a diagnosed person. A household-like contact is a person who has spent more than four hours with the diagnosed person in a house or other place of accommodation, care facility or similar.

If a staff member or student becomes a diagnosed case, other staff and students won’t need to quarantine unless they are also a household member or household-like contact of that person. A JCU workplace or teaching venue is not considered household-like.

Delayed start to primary and secondary schools in Queensland

We acknowledge that the delayed start to the school year to 7 February to allow time for vaccination of children aged 5 - 11 years and boosters for adults may impact some staff and students. Further advice will be provided for staff regarding leave and work from home arrangements where they may be required, as well as management of any quarantine or isolation periods.

There is no intention to delay any JCU activities at this time.

Vulnerable people

Those who are at greater risk of developing severe illness with COVID-19 should consider their circumstances and how best they can minimise the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19. A guideline and risk assessment tool is available to assist with this process.

Notifying JCU of quarantine or isolation

If you are in isolation or quarantine because of a Queensland Health direction or you are a close contact, please continue to provide advice to JCU through the quarantine notification form and it will be forwarded to whsnotification@jcu.edu.au. This prompts a number of welfare supports to staff and students throughout your quarantine or isolation.

QR Codes for Check In

Please continue to Check In when you see a QR code on the entrance to a building or a teaching or meeting space – or in the broader community. Whilst exposure sites are no longer listed by Queensland Health, the history recorded in the app may assist you to remember where you have been on campus or elsewhere, if you were to test positive. You will be able to provide this information in your Notification Form.

A reminder – DO NOT attend campus if you are in isolation or quarantine, waiting on a test result or have symptoms of any kind.  Further updates will be provided.

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: Wear masks indoors and note other public health requirements

Date: 3 January 2022 –10.30am


Mask wearing

From Sunday 2 January 2022, face mask requirements across Queensland include all indoor settings except for in the home. This means you must wear a mask indoors at JCU unless:

  • eating or drinking
  • seated at a hospitality venue such as a pub, club, café or restaurant or in an indoor sports centre;
  • undertaking work or education for which clear enunciation or visibility of the mouth is essential
  • you have a particular medical condition or disability
  • where asked to remove a face mask for identity purposes
  • wearing a mask creates a risk to a person’s health and safety (ie during strenuous exercise)
  • you are sitting at a workplace or standing at a workstation and can maintain physical distance from other persons. However, if you are moving around the workplace or you have frequent contact with people (such as at a reception desk) you must wear a face mask.
  • in an emergency or in any circumstances when it’s not safe to wear a mask

For staff who are teaching, you may remove your mask whilst delivering the lesson.

A person who removes their face mask under an exemption under the Public Health Face Mask Requirements Direction must resume wearing the face mask as soon as practicable after the circumstances of the exemption ends.

You do not need to wear a mask outdoors if you can remain 1.5 metres away from others.

Working from home

Where circumstances allow, managers may approve their staff to work from home at this time.

Changes to confirmed cases and contact tracing

From Friday 31 December 2021, there are changes to the requirements for confirmed cases and close contacts as well as for contact tracing in Queensland. Isolation and testing requirements for people diagnosed with COVID and close contacts have changed. Note that close contact now means a person who is a household member or a household-like contact of a diagnosed person.

Close contacts must isolate for seven days from the date they last had contact with the diagnosed person and immediately get tested:

  • a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms
  • a PCR test if they have COVID-19 symptoms

Close contacts have the same requirements regardless of their vaccination status or the vaccination status of the diagnosed case.

The Queensland Government will no longer list exposure sites given the widespread transmission of COVID. Only major outbreak venues or super-spreader events will be notified to the community. Therefore, you need to consider any movement through the community as a risk for COVID-19 infection.

Make sure to maintain social distancing, perform regular hand hygiene, monitor for symptoms, stay away from campus if unwell, and get tested if you develop any symptoms.

Entry to Queensland - Testing requirements

From January 1 2022, hotspot travellers can meet entry testing requirements by either a negative Rapid Antigen Test OR a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours prior to entering Queensland. There is no requirement to get a COVID-19 PCR test on day 5 following arrival to Queensland.

You still have to get tested if you develop COVID-19 symptoms or if you are a close contact of a person with COVID-19.

Notifying JCU of quarantine

If you are in isolation or quarantine because of a Queensland Health direction or you are considered a close contact, please continue to provide advice to JCU through the quarantine notification form and it will be forwarded to whsnotification@jcu.edu.au. This prompts a number of welfare supports to staff and students throughout your quarantine.

Further updates will be provided.

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

2021

To: The JCU Community

Approved by: Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff

Action required: Changed requirements for close and casual contacts

Date: 21 December 2021 – 4.10pm


Changed requirements for close and casual contacts

The Queensland Government has brought forward changes to testing and quarantine requirements when a person comes into contact with a COVID positive person. From tomorrow, Wednesday 22 December 2021, requirements will be eased for vaccinated people.

These changes are detailed in the Managing the risk for COVID-19 exposures in businesses and venues plan. The QLD government website also has information on the location of testing clinics is and the requirements for testing and quarantine.

A part of these changes, JCU is able to conduct an initial risk assessment and undertake actions when the University becomes aware that a COVID-19 positive person has

attended the campus or JCU venue, and while awaiting a formal assessment by the local Queensland Health Public Unit. JCU’s Positive Covid-19 Response Guideline has been updated to reflect these changes.

Notifying JCU of quarantine

If you are in quarantine because of a Queensland Health direction or have been to an exposure site as a close or casual contact, please continue to provide advice to JCU through the quarantine notification form and it will be forwarded to whsnotification@jcu.edu.au. This prompts a number of welfare supports to staff and students throughout your quarantine.

Masks

A reminder that masks are required to be worn in shopping centres, retail outlets and shops, public transport, taxis and rideshare, and in all airports. You are not required to wear masks in the workplace, nor at hospitality venues such as restaurants and nightclubs at this point in time. However, it is strongly recommended that you wear a mask when entering, exiting or moving around hospitality venues.

Please continue to monitor 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.

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: Townsville graduation listed as low risk exposure site – get tested

Date: 18 December 2021 – 1.50pm


16 December graduation in Townsville listed as low risk exposure site

JCU has been informed that a COVID positive person attended the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, and College of Medicine and Dentistry graduation on the morning of Thursday 16 December.

The Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre has been listed as a low risk contact location on the list of exposures sites for Qld. If you were at the venue for graduation between 9.30 – 1.30pm, you are considered a low risk contact and must do the following:

  1. get tested but you do not need to isolate unless you have symptoms
  2. if you are experiencing symptoms, isolate at home until you receive a negative result
  3. continue to monitor for symptoms, if you become symptomatic get tested and isolate until you receive a negative result.

If you are no longer in Queensland please check with the relevant state health department for health advice and requirements.

The requirements for testing and quarantine are also explained here.

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

To: Education Students undertaking placements

Approved by: Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff

Date: 3 December 2021


Dear Students,

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

As you may be aware, the Queensland Government announced a revised Health Direction for workers in high risk settings. From Sunday, 23 January 2022, mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all people delivering a service at schools or early childhood education and care settings.

This Health Direction includes preservice teacher and graduate student teacher placements. Specifically, it concerns students who will be completing a professional experience placement in 2022 onwards, in a Queensland school or early childhood education and care setting.

For JCU to ensure you are able to begin your placement on or after 23 January 2022, please advise of your COVID-19 vaccination status. You are required to provide this information by Friday, 10 December 2021 by completing the form.

COVID-19 Vaccination information for Education students

JCU requires that Education students who undertake placement at a school or an early childhood education and care setting as part of their Course be vaccinated against COVID-19 to ensure they can attend placement. Education students will be required to:

  • Have received 1 dose of the COVID-19 vaccination by 17 December 2021
  • Have received second dose of COVID 19 vaccination by 23 January 2022

Also note your placement provider may require you to provide your proof of vaccination directly to them.

QLD Health - Vaccination clinics include:

After each vaccination, please submit the COVID-19 Vaccination Status form with your COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (available through myGov) or other evidence. 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: 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