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COVID-19 updates

More information at Student COVID-19 updates

As always, the safety of students, staff and the community continues is our first priority. Given the nature of a global pandemic, each day comes with an evolving set of circumstances, which is why we have developed this webpage to keep students' families and our wider community updated.

University updates

We have been working to contribute to the broader community’s response to the pandemic and have made our nursing simulation and training facility in Launceston available if required.

The University is also introducing a number of measures designed to support our people, prioritise our workforce and make sure we are strong when we emerge from this most difficult period:

  • A focus on non-salary costs to prioritise our workforce;
  • The importance of annual leave and introduction of COVID-19 leave;
  • Maintaining our core research strengths.

The Government last night introduced further restrictions and guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. To protect our safety and wellbeing, and that of our community, we all share a duty to closely follow the requirements for social distancing. We will continue to adapt the way we operate to ensure we are abiding by the new guidelines and keeping our people safe.

In order to adhere to the new restrictions, we are having to close certain student contact points, including all of our libraries, from 6pm today:

  • Morris Miller Library, Sandy Bay
  • Law Library, Sandy Bay
  • Newnham Library
  • Building Y, Newnham
  • Carington Smith Library, Hobart CBD
  • Clinical Library, Hobart CBD
  • Rozelle Campus Library
  • Hobart MidCity (88 Elizabeth St, Hobart CBD)
  • Zeehan Study Hub
  • All Student Lounges

We have a vast amount of electronic resources available. Use the mega search function at: www.utas.edu.au/library

Reserve items will be available electronically via reading lists. Search for reading list items at: rlms.utas.edu.au/erl/

Library guides highlight key resources for your subject area, including information on ebooks and databases. These can be found at utas.libguides.com/home

The latest library information, including new electronic material, is available via the library website. If you can’t find what you are looking for please don’t hesitate to email the Library Resources Team.

Help is available for students who need access to computers and the internet. Please go to the Student COVID-19 webpage

The Government has announced restrictions which prohibit the operation of gyms, religious and cultural gatherings, and restrict non-essential indoor gatherings of less than 100 people to one person per 4 square metres. To further enforce social distance, restaurants and cafés have been restricted to providing takeaway options only.

As a result, we have had to temporarily close until further notice:

  • All University libraries
  • University Multi-faith Centre - Sandy Bay
  • Muslim Prayer rooms - Newnham and Sandy Bay
  • UniGym - Burnie, Launceston, Sandy Bay
  • Makers' Workshop - Burnie
  • Plimsoll Gallery - Hobart
  • John Elliot Classics Museum, Sandy Bay
  • Academy Gallery - Inveresk, Launceston

In addition, on-campus cafes will supply takeaway food and drinks during shorter open hours [PDF 125.0 KB]. The following cafés and catering providers are still operating:

  • Cradle Coast: Graze café
  • Newnham: Saltz, Australian Maritime College
  • Sandy Bay: Pepperz Café, Greens
  • Catering at Midcity Apartments

We know how important faith, fitness and creativity are, and we regret the need to suspend operations of facilities that support our health and wellbeing in these ways. We encourage you to find ways to stay connected to one another, while abiding by the health advice and social distancing guidelines that help reduce risk to keep us all safe.

These decisions will be reviewed fortnightly and operations will resume when we are confident that we can meet Public Health advice and Government guidelines.

UniGym classes online from 1st April: UniGym will move the delivery of services online with a variety of health, fitness and wellbeing content to keep you active. The new timetable will be released 1st April. Classes will be run via the UTASlife and Unigym Facebook pages (Hobart; Burnie; Launceston) and scheduled classes on Zoom.

Today the Tasmanian Government has requested that we make our inner-city Fountainside Apartments available for the COVID-19 response.

Working closely with our residents, we are making the necessary arrangements and will have the facility ready for the Government by Tuesday, 24 March.

We are incredibly grateful for the understanding of our students – who will move to other inner-city University apartments – freeing up 50 ensuite rooms. There are currently 44 students at Fountainside Apartments.

In recent days, as we have made the transition to online teaching, a number of students have opted to continue their studies at home and close to their families and we have been happy to support them with that transition. This has created extra capacity across our accommodation facilities.

This is allowing us to continue offering safe, supported housing for students where we can take appropriate social distancing and self-isolation steps, while freeing up facilities for the wider Tasmanian community.

Like individuals, companies and organisations throughout the State, we are ready to contribute to the response to COVID-19, and as a result the safety of our community, in any way that we can.

University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black

As of Monday 23 March, there will be a change to open hours of on-campus cafés, catering and retail services.

View the revised café/business opening hours [PDF 125.0 KB]

The safety of students, staff and the community continues to be our first priority. The risks in Tasmania of contracting COVID-19 remain very low, but the risk of person-to-person transmission continues to increase.

Today we will begin the transition to full online course delivery and staffing, on the basis of our model of split teams and working from home. By beginning the implementation now, we can do so in a progressive way, that means it can be orderly, issues that arise can be addressed without undue time pressure and when we have people available to assist in person as needed.

We continue to work closely with the Public Health Office to ensure our approach aligns with current advice. We ask everyone in our University community to follow health and government advisories closely and to do those things known to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 and similar illnesses.

Read the media release [PDF 217.4 KB]

We have been notified from Public Health that we have had someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 on our Newnham campus, and the risk to others is low. The infected person is well-supported and in isolation in University accommodation.

We have been notified from Public Health that we have had someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 on our Sandy Bay campus, and the risk to others is low.

The infected person was:

  • aboard Jetstar flight JQ727 from Sydney on Sunday 8 March which landed in Hobart airport at 10:20pm
  • in the Morris Miller library from 9:30am–5:30pm on Monday 9 March
  • in the Morris Miller library from 8:30am–12:30pm on Tuesday 10 March, during which time she also briefly visited Lazenby's café.

If you were at the library on 9 or 10 March and are feeling unwell during the subsequent 14 days, contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738. Further advice from Public Health [PDF]

Government updates

  • Additional prohibited activities and venues will apply from 11.59pm, 25 March. See the full list
  • The Government will implement a ‘do not travel’ ban on Australians travelling overseas under the Biosecurity Act 2015. Only critical exceptions will be considered.

Source: Media Statement - 24 March (pm.gov.au)

The Prime Minister announced that the following facilities will be restricted from opening from midday 23 March (local time):

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).

These measures are expected to be in place for at least 6 months.

All 'non-essential' domestic travel should be cancelled/postponed. Watch the announcement

Source: Media Statement - 22 March (pm.gov.au)

The Prime Minister announced that gatherings of fewer than 100 people in an enclosed space should have four square metres per person.

Source: Media statement - 20 March (pm.gov.au)

The Prime Minister announced that all non-residents will be restricted from arriving in Australia from 9pm AEDT on Friday 20 March.

Source: Media Release - 19 March (pm.gov.au)

The Premier of Tasmania announced that from midnight on Friday 20 March, all 'non-essential' travellers into the State will have will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days at a stated residence. 'Essential' travellers include people required to keep the State's health system and trade operational.

Source: Media Release - 19 March (premier.tas.gov.au)

  • Australians are advised not to travel overseas, however domestic air travel is permitted because of its low risk.
  • Advise against non-essential indoor gatherings of 100+ people and outdoor gatherings of 500+.
  • Schools will remain open on advice of health officials.
  • There are restrictions and limits on visitors to aged care facilities.

Source: Smartraveller travel advice

The Tasmanian Director of Public Health has declared a Public Health Emergency for Tasmania to help manage the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Department of Health, Tasmania (Facebook)

More resources

  • We have set up a helpline for students and their families who have concerns or queries.
    Phone +61 3 6226 2600 or email U.Connect@utas.edu.au
  • The Student COVID-19 updates webpage provides regularly updated information about study, IT support, accommodation, other facilities and health advice.
  • Free and confidential counselling services are available online and on the phone. Appointments can be made via the Appointment Hub or phone 1800 817 675 (within office hours).
  • After hours, the University After-Hours Crisis Support Service is available on 1300 511 709 or text 0488 884 168.
  • If you are concerned that a student is exhibiting concerning behaviour or experiencing bullying or harassment, please contact the Safe and Fair Community Unit on 6226 2560 or SaFCU@utas.edu.au
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, cough, sore throat, nausea/vomiting and shortness of breath. Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show after a person has been infected.
  • If you develop these symptoms, you must call a doctor, health clinic or Public Health Hotline (Tas: 1800 671 738; NSW: 1800 022 222), advise them of your situation and arrange an urgent assessment.
  • If you are having trouble accessing medical attention, please contact us on +61 3 6226 2600 or email UConnect
  • Out-of-hours care should be accessed at the Emergency Department of your local hospital.

We are offering online course delivery to the greatest possible extent during this period. The timeline to implement these changes will be different for each unit and we thank students for their patience at this time.

During this transition period, students need to contact their Unit Coordinator if they are not comfortable attending any face-to-face activities that are yet to be moved online. For any activities where online delivery is not possible (such as Practicals), alternative approaches are being developed and this will be communicated to individual students.

A new 24/7 learning support service has been made available to students and you can connect with this through each of their MyLO subject units. If anything is unclear, please email U.Connect@utas.edu.au.

Travel Ban Financial Hardship Grant for students in China

The Travel Ban Financial Hardship Grant is designed to assist students experiencing financial hardship with:

  • Costs associated with travel from mainland China to Australia
  • Accommodation, transport or other costs associated with changes to your original itinerary.

The grant is a one-off payment (not a loan) to the value of A$1,500. Please email TravelBan.Assistance@utas.edu.au and provide your Student ID Number, a brief outline of your circumstances and evidence of the additional expenses you have incurred in getting to Australia. We will assess requests on a case-by-case basis. If approved, a one-off A$1,500 discount will be applied to your Semester 1 tuition fees.

Online Study Access Assistance for students in China

Students who are currently located offshore and are affected by travel bans may apply for Online Study Access Assistance to assist with the costs of obtaining mobile broadband internet access in mainland China. Mobile broadband internet access has been tested as being the most reliable method of connecting to our online learning platform, MyLO.

This assistance is to the value of A$500 and may be used to cover the costs of mobile internet access or related costs in gaining access to our MyLO Learning Management system.

To be eligible, students must be impacted by the travel ban, and be having difficulties connecting to our MyLO platform. Please email TravelBan.Assistance@utas.edu.au and provide your Student ID Number, a brief outline of the difficulties you have experienced in accessing MyLO, and a receipt outlining costs incurred in gaining access to the internet. We will assess your request, and if approved a one-off A$500 discount will be applied to your Semester 1 tuition fees.