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Health Advice

Health Advice

The most important thing we can all do during the coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic is look after our health and wellbeing. This is how you will keep yourself, your loved ones, and the most vulnerable people in our community safe and well.

Do not come to campus if you are unwell and have any of the following symptoms, however mild: fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of sense of taste or smell.

Stay at home and get tested. Notify the University that you are getting tested by emailing COVID@utas.edu.au and include your name, phone number and email address.

I am feeling unwell, what should I do?

It is recommended that people with any of the following symptoms (even mild ones) get tested for COVID-19: fever, runny nose, cough, sore/itchy throat, or shortness of breath.

If you are feeling unwell with any of these symptoms, you should:

  1. Stay home and self-isolate.

    If you are on campus, leave immediately.  If you must use public transport, be sure to practice excellent hand hygiene and cough/sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.  Wear a mask on your way home, if available.

  2. Seek medical advice and get tested.

    As soon as possible phone your GP or the Public Health Hotline (TAS 1800 671 738, NSW testing clinics) and get tested.  Other than to get tested or for urgent medical care, stay at home or in your place of isolation until you get your test results.

  3. Notify the University that you are getting tested.  

If you are getting tested, notify your Manager or Course Coordinator and COVID@utas.edu.au. In the email, please include your name, phone number and contact details. This inbox is monitored seven days a week. Your information will be kept confidential.

Do I need to do a COVID-19 test after I’ve been vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccination is effective in preventing severe disease but less is known about effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing mild symptoms or transmission. We must continue to keep up our COVID-safe behaviours even after we’ve been vaccinated, including getting tested for COVID-19 if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms.

Who do I notify of a COVID-19 exposure?

If you are getting tested for COVID-19 email COVID@utas.edu.au and:

  • If you are a Staff member, also notify your Manager.
  • If you are a Student, also notify your Supervisor or Course Coordinator.
  • If you are a Residential Student, also notify Student Living Staff.
  • If you are a Volunteer, Visitor or Contractor, notify your relevant UTAS Contact Person.

When notifying COVID@utas.edu.au that you are getting tested, please include your name, phone number and contact details. This inbox is monitored seven days a week. Your information will be kept confidential.

Notify the University that you are getting tested.

Where can I get further information about COVID-19 testing?

For further information about getting tested in Tasmania go to testing for COVID-19a.

For further information about getting tested for COVID-19 in NSW go to COVID-19 testing clinics.

When can I come back on campus?

If your test result is negative, you do not need to self-isolate any longer unless Public Health has told you otherwise. If you are still sick do not come to campus until you are well. You still should protect others from whatever germ is causing your illness.

If your test result is positive, do not return to campus until you are formally cleared to return to normal activities by Public Health authorities. Please provide a letter of evidence to say you are cleared to return to normal activities to your respective notification person as above.

Can I come onto campus if someone in my household is unwell with COVID-like symptoms?

If someone in your household is unwell with COVID-like symptoms (such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, or shortness of breath) they should self-isolate and get tested.

If you are well and do not have COVID-like symptoms, you can come on campus unless directed otherwise by Public Health.

If you develop COVID-like symptoms, stay away from campus, self-isolate and get tested.

Take steps to protect yourself by practising good hand and cough hygiene and physical distancing.

For further information go to isolation of a suspected case of COVID.

I suffer from Hay Fever which has the same symptoms as COVID-19, what should I do?

Hay fever can be caused by allergies to pollen from some flowering plants and is more common in Tasmania during spring and summer.

Hay fever also has the same symptoms as a cold, flu and COVID-19, so it is hard to tell them apart without testing.

If you have hay fever symptoms, even mild symptoms, it’s important you get tested for COVID-19.

If your result is negative, see your GP about managing your symptoms and ask for a certificate or letter so you can go back to work or school.

For more information visit Testing for COVID-19.

The above information was sourced through Tasmanian Public Health

What if my exposure to COVID-19 was work-related?

The University must notify WorkSafe when it is confirmed that a person has contracted COVID-19 through carrying out work and:

> the reason the person contracted COVID19 is reliably attributable to carrying out work that involves providing treatment or care to a person; or involves contact with human blood or body substances. In this case, the carrying out of work must be a significant contributing factor to the infection being contracted; or

> the person is required to have treatment as an in-patient in a hospital; or

> the person dies.

This applies to anyone who has contracted COVID-19 through carrying out University business or during their University studies.

For example, a student contracts COVID-19 while on placement in a hospital where there was a known outbreak of positive cases.

Notification to Worksafe must be made immediately after the University becomes aware of the incident and is required regardless of whether the Department of Health is already aware of the case. This notification will be undertaken by the Safety and Wellbeing Unit as per normal Incident Notification Procedures.

Am I covered by Workers Compensation Insurance if my exposure to COVID-19 was work-related?

If you are a staff member you may be covered by Workers Compensation, if the reason you contracted COVID-19 is reliably attributable to the carrying out of your work and your employment is the major or most  significant contributing factor

This will require a factual assessment of each claim on its own merits by the University Workers Compensation Insurer. The usual liability considerations will apply to determine whether a worker has contracted COVID-19 in the course of their employment.

The Safety and Wellbeing Unit must notify the University’s Workers Compensation Insurer within 3 days of you notifying the University of your work-related COVID-19.

What is isolation?

A person with coronavirus (COVID-19) or suspected to have it must enter mandatory isolation.

You will need to isolate to prevent the spread of the virus to others if:

  • you have COVID-19
  • health authorities suspect you have COVID-19

You will need to isolate in:

  • hospital if you need hospital care
  • your home if it is suitable
  • another location if needed as decided by your public health authority

The public health authority will advise you when you can leave isolation.

If you get tested for the virus, or you have symptoms, you need to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.  You will need to do this until you either have a negative test result or your symptoms have gone – whichever is longer.

Further information on steps you need to take while in isolation can be found on the Australian Dept of Health webpage here.

What is Quarantine?

Quarantine is when you are well but may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.  In such cases, you must stay in quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus.  Read more about what quarantine is, who must go into quarantine, and what to do if you live with someone in quarantine on the Australian Dept of Health webpage here.

Can I come to campus if someone in my household is in quarantine?

While the Government permits a staff or student who is sharing a household with a person in quarantine to go about their normal activities, the University due to its higher risk, will not permit a staff member or student who is sharing a household with a person in quarantine to attend campus.

The staff or student should work or study from home.  If a staff or student is unable to do so, they should talk to their Manager or Supervisor or Course Coordinator about arrangements that can be put in place to support them during this time.

When can I return to work following quarantine?

If you have completed a 14-day quarantine period (either after returning from travel or because you were a close contact with a confirmed case), and did not develop symptoms during quarantine, you do not need a medical clearance to return to work. You do not need to be tested for COVID-19 in order to return to campus.

Some people are at greater risk of more serious illness with COVID-19:

> Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions.

> people 65 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions.

> people 70 years and older; and

> people with compromised immune systems.

Note: These categories may increase or vary depending on the latest evidence.

vulnerable person includes any Staff, Student or Volunteer.

Any Staff member responsible for a vulnerable person, needs to ensure there are measures in place to protect the health and wellbeing of vulnerable persons in their workplace.

The Guidance for Managing Vulnerable Persons  PDF 272.2 KB PDF 272.2 KB outlines your responsibility to support your vulnerable person and how to support them to return to campus.

Supporting documentation:

Vulnerable People Agreement Form  DOCX 105.1 KB

> Supporting Staff or Students with a disability return to campus

I am pregnant — should I be worried about COVID-19?

Pregnant women do not appear to be more at risk of developing serious symptoms due to COVID-19 infection than the rest of the general population.

A large majority of pregnant women will most likely experience mild to moderate cold and flu-like symptoms.

Further information about Pregnancy and COVID-19 can be found on the Australian Government Health Direct website here and also the Tasmanian Government website here.

The University has introduced Health Screening Stations on our campuses as we start to see more people return to campus.

All staff, students, volunteers, contractors, and visitors to a site must pass through a Health Screening Station daily, when they first arrive on campus.

Health screening involves 3-steps:

> check your COVID-19 symptoms and contact history

> check your temperature before you enter buildings on campus.

> ‘tap in’ using your access card on the dedicated reader to activate it for the day (for contact tracing in event of an outbreak).

Health screening questionnaire (questions) PDF 478.2 KB

You will be prompted to consider questions related to:

> Your recent contact and travel history.

> Whether you feel unwell with COVID-19 symptoms.

> If you answer 'YES' to any of those questions, you will be provided with a COVID-19 Information sheet on what to do next and you should return home.

> If your answer is 'NO', then you have your temperature checked using a non-contact thermometer or automatic temperature station.

> If it is below 37.5°C you can access campus. ‘Tap in’ your swipe access ID card and get your coloured ‘dot’ for the day.

> If your temperature, after an additional check, remains above 37.5°C, you will be provided with COVID-Information guidance PDF 188.7 KB and you should return home.

Monitor your symptoms during the day and if you start feeling unwell immediately go home and report it to your Manager or Supervisor and get yourself tested for COVID-19.

Do visitors need to be health screened?

All Visitors need to go through Health Screening Station.  Visitors do not have a swipe access cards so they need to sign-in via the Visitor Sign-In Register PDF 147.4 KB at the screening station  This information is collected for Public Health contact tracing in the event of an outbreak on campus.

Visitors can also take a copy of the Visitors Safety Information PDF 83.8 KB found at the Health Screening Station or be provided to them before visiting campus by their UTAS Contact Person.

Do minors visiting campus need to be health screened?

Yes, everyone including minors who visit campus need to go through a Health Screening Station when they first arrive on campus.

All minors visiting the campus need to be entered into the Visitor Sign-in Register at the Screening Station for contact tracing purposes.

Where school visits to campus are being planned, please notify the schools and ask them to notify all students ahead of time that this will be happening.

Health screening is not linked to any personal information collection and is only used to determine entry onto campus.

Hours of Operation

Health Screening stations are located on the main campuses and satellite sites. The main locations are listed in the Guide for attending campus (online flipping book). Recent updates to include new Health Screening Stations are now available here PDF 154.7 KB PDF 95.1 KB

Health Screening Stations generally operate between 8am - 4pm. Although new automatic temperature screening stations are being introduced in many locations, some of which will have 24-hour access.  Some small satellite sites have implemented self-screening all hours of their operations.

Have a question about the Health Screening Station?

Please contact Building.Services@utas.edu.au in the first instance regarding the Health Screening Station.

The recent rise in community transmission of COVID-19 in some parts of Australia means the time has come for us to get used to masks – either actually wearing them now or the idea that at some point we might be asked to do so.

Latest health advice on masks

The recent rise in community transmission of COVID-19 in Australia means some States and Territories now recommend or require the use of masks.

For the latest State direction on the wearing of masks click here.

How to wear a mask

Here is some resources and information about masks and how to wear them correctly.

> Video – Advice on wearing a mask

> Video – How to wear a mask

> Factsheet - Face Masks: How they protect you and when to use them

> Factsheet - How to make a cloth mask

Further information

> Australian Department of Health - Masks

> WHO – When and how to use masks

We encourage all eligible people to get  vaccinated as soon as possible.  Getting a COVID-19  vaccine will help  protect you, your family, your friends, and the community.

The University is in support of the COVID  Vaccination program.  Currently we don't have any clinics planned on campus but this may change in the future.

Current vaccination information and how to book is available  on the Tasmanian  coronavirus website and the NSW website.

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