COVID-19 advice

The health and safety of our staff and students will always be our highest priority. Our COVID-safety measures will only work if everyone plays their part.

COVID-safety at ANU

Please follow all COVID-safety measures when you come to campus including isolating and getting tested if you feel unwell.

Refer to the COVID Safety Management chapter of the University's WHS Management System Handbook for more details.

 

If you test positive to COVID-19:

  1. Register your positive result with ACT Health using this online form, or with the state/territory health authority where you are located
  2. Alert the University through this online form, and
  3. Inform your supervisor or course convenor.

If you are a household contact of a positive case:

Please speak with your supervisor or course convenor and contact the Work Environment Group to determine appropriate actions.

 

Recent updates from ANU

All COVID updates will be communicated to staff and students via the weekly On Campus email newsletter. You can find previous staff On Campus and student On Campus editions here.

Masks

Mask mandate maintained indoors on campus. This applies in all teaching spaces and work areas. There are some exemptions for residences, commercial spaces and certain labs on campus - find out more.

RAT and N95 mask supplies

The University's RAT and N95 mask distribution hub will be open on Wednesday 3 August and Thursday 4 August between 2pm - 6pm on Tangney Road in Kambri. Bring your ANU staff or student card with you. Limited RATs and masks available for collection while stock is available. 

Planning and business continuity

Please ensure your area is working on business continuity plans and putting arrangements in place for absences.

Updates to our COVID-safety management

Read the updated COVID Safety Management chapter of the University's WHS Management System Handbook.

How to stay informed

  • Follow updates from your local area - they will make decisions relevant to your work and study.
  • Read On Campus. It lands in your ANU inbox each Tuesday.
  • Regularly check the information on this webpage.
  • Download ANUOK, our campus safety app, on Google Play or the App Store, and turn on notifications to stay informed about what's happening that affects our community. To enable notifications in the app, click on current notices > about/preferences > push notifications > enable notifications.
  • Have a question? Let us know.

Helpful links

Looking for...?

ANU COVID-safe Guidelines

COVID-safe plan for teaching activities

Support for learning and teaching contingencies

Information about requesting remote adjustments 

Information about applying for an Education Access Plan as a result of 'long COVID' impacting your studies

Information about returning to work on campus

COVID-19 posters to print and display in your local area

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 absences, flexibility and leave arrangements

University related travel guidance

Events and functions on campus

Information about arriving at ANU from overseas

Information about ACT Health quarantine in ANU apartments

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RAT and N95 mask distribution hub 

We will be reopening the distribution hub for rapid antigen tests (RATs) and N95 masks for staff and students on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 August from 2pm - 6pm on Tangney Road in Kambri

Please be patient and respectful when visiting the hub. You will need to bring your staff or student ID with you and cannot send anyone in your absence to collect on your behalf.  

The hub is not intended to be a frequent supply. This is to help support our staff and students continue on-campus teaching and working in Semester 2. RATs should be used if you are experiencing any COVID related symptoms, or in the days after being exposed to COVID in a moderate or high-risk setting. There is no requirement to use these tests for any screening process.  

Limited RATs and masks available for collection while stock is available. 

Wearing a mask on campus

You must wear a mask indoors at ANU to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This applies in all teaching spaces and work areas. 

This requirement remains in place for Semester 2 2022. 

There are a limited number of exceptions when you can remove your mask, but masks are strongly recommended.  

Masks and events  

Masks must be worn at all ANU-organised events at ANU. 

The requirement to wear a mask will be clearly indicated as part of the registration process. In line with standard exemptions, if refreshments are available, event guests may remove their masks to eat or drink. 

Where an external event organiser has booked an ANU space for an event, the requirement for guests to wear masks is at the organiser's discretion. ANU, of course, strongly recommends masks are worn and ANU staff working at the venue must wear masks as they would in the rest of their working day.   

Exemptions  

The requirement to wear a mask does not apply in the following situations:  

  • Where an individual holds a medical exemption  
  • When you are alone in a work space or you are sitting or standing at your desk that is 1.5 metres away from any other person  
  • When teaching; if required to ensure good communication and you are comfortable doing so. You must remain at the front of the class at least 1.5 metres away from others  
  • To communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing where visibility of the mouth is essential for communication  
  • When consuming food, drink or medicine  
  • When undertaking vigorous exercise  
  • In an emergency  

The requirement to wear a mask does not apply in the following places at ANU:  

  • Residences - to align with off campus accommodation. Masks are, however, strongly recommended and required if you are unwell and have to leave your room. 
  • Commercial premises - to align with commercial premises off campus, the requirement to wear a mask is at the business's discretion. ANU strongly recommends you wear a mask in these premises.  
  • In laboratories identified as having sufficient mechanical ventilation and where it is considered safer not to wear a mask. You will be told if this applies to a laboratory you are using. 
     

Why is ANU continuing to require masks inside?

We know that masks help stop the spread of COVID and make our community safer - and we want the campus to be the most COVID safe place it can be.

Masks reduce the risk of exposure and the chance of needing to quarantine and they also give our community additional confidence as they go about their business on campus.

I am unable to wear a face mask and have a medical exemption. What do I do?

If you are unable to wear a face mask, you should ask for a letter from your GP confirming that you have a health condition that makes wearing a mask unsuitable. You do not need to disclose the specific health condition or reason for the exemption.

Please provide this letter to your supervisor or course convenor so they can undertake a risk assessment to make sure you and others around you are safe.

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Vaccination

Vaccination remains the best way to protect ourselves and our community from COVID-19. Vaccinations rates in Australia are very high and Canberra is the most vaccinated city in the world. In addition, all international arrivals to Australia are required to provide proof of full vaccination with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or recognised vaccine.

Remember that there are many ways to keep COVID safe and vaccination is only one element. Social distancing and density limits, frequent hand washing and staying home if you're unwell are all important for staying COVID safe. More information is available in the COVID Safe Guidelines.

Current position

The University strongly encourages staff and students to get vaccinated, including receiving a booster dose when eligible. Vaccination is required in some University settings such as in our residences and in other settings, including where required by the ACT Government.

We won't introduce a broad vaccination mandate for our community at this time, but we will continue to monitor the public health advice and consult with our community.

Vaccination consultation

The University undertook a consultation process to help consider our position on vaccination. This included consulting with staff, students, emeritus, honorary and visiting staff, health and safety representatives, the NTEU, and consultation at the local level in teams, and between employees and their supervisors.

Community Survey

A survey was run to assist the University with forward planning for the safe return of staff and students to campus and the commencement of semester one 2022. The survey was open for staff, students and emeritus, honorary and visiting staff to complete from Tuesday 25 January 2022 to Monday 31 January 2022 inclusive.  The survey was conducted anonymously and results cannot be tied to individual respondents.

Participation

A total of 6,858 staff and students completed the survey. This represents 1,493 academic staff (including casuals), 1,443 professional staff (including casuals), 510 emeritus professors/fellows, honorary appointees and visitors, 2,903 students and an additional 508 people who responded as 'other/prefer not to say'.

Results

The survey results show that a large majority of our community would feel safer if others on campus are vaccinated. More than 80 per cent of respondents answered that they strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, 'I will feel more comfortable coming to work/campus if others are vaccinated'.

You can read the full survey results here.

These results are part of an ongoing discussion with our community. The current position on vaccination, that the University strongly encourages staff and students to get vaccinated, including receiving a booster dose when eligible, remains unchanged. We will continue the consultation process to further refine the University's position on vaccination.

Where to get vaccinated

Staff and students can book an appointment to receive a booster dose on campus at the ANU Medical Clinic and University Pharmacy. You can also make a booking through your local pharmacy or doctor or the ACT Government vaccination clinic.

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Notification of positive cases

It's important that you let us know if you test positive for COVID-19. Current ACT Government rules require individuals to let people they have spent time with in the previous two days know if they test positive. By also notifying the University, we can help determine the risk of exposure to your colleagues and students in line with ACT Health Guidelines and, where appropriate, pass this information on to colleagues and students so they can take the necessary steps.

If you test positive to COVID-19, please:

  1. Register your positive result with ACT Health using this online form, or with the state/territory health authority where you are located;
  2. Alert the University through this online form and;
  3. Inform your supervisor or course convenor.

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Household contact of a positive case

ACT Health have made changes to quarantine requirements for household contacts.

The University is currently assessing these changes and what they mean for our campus. At the moment, the University's current COVID-safe guidelines will remain in place and ANU campus settings remain the same, which include wearing of masks indoors and staying home if you're unwell. We will consult with students, staff and other key stakeholders across our community before making any potential changes to our guidelines and inform our community of any changes if and when they are implemented.

In the meantime, please speak with your supervisor or course convenor and the Work Environment Group whs@anu.edu.au to determine appropriate actions if you are a household contact of a positive case.

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Improving ventilation

A list of the current status of upgrades in all buildings on the Acton campus can be viewed here.

Update on progress - Tuesday 15 February

The University has been working hard over the past several weeks to implement changes to ventilation in all buildings across campus. We have made significant progress in phase one - library and teaching buildings, with 100 percent of CO,100 percent of filtration and 95 percent of purge upgrades now completed.

Key changes made:

  • 49 teaching and library buildings have a purge upgrade implemented
  • 19 teaching and library buildings have had CO2 monitoring upgraded
  • 18 teaching and library buildings have had filter upgrades

With this initial phase nearing completion, attention has been turned to all other buildings.  Some buildings will take significantly longer to implement changes to due to large scale infrastructure and mechanical requirements.

Improved ventilation is just one of a suite of measures to improve our environment. Your local area Risk Assessment should consider and implement all applicable and currently available measures that are reasonably practicable as detailed in the University COVID-safe Guidelines and the WHSMS Risk Assessment.

If you have a specific question or concern regarding ventilation, filtration or air-handling in your work area please raise a job request in MAXIMO or send a 'fix my campus' request via the ANUOK app. When submitting your request, please detail your job request in relation to the mechanical and system control aspects of ventilation, filtration or air-handling in your work area.

 

There are four strategies to improving ventilation to further mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in addition to mandated steps already in place.

  1. Reduce CO2 set points - fresh air content flushed into the building to reduce CO2 levels in the space - this process is handled automatically via the buildings control system. CO2 set points have been revised to 650ppm (they are typically 850-1000ppm). 
  2. Increase outside air rates - outside air rates have been increased when ambient air temperatures permit. This process is handled automatically via the buildings control system.
  3. Pre and post occupancy purging - fresh air content is flushed into the building before and after use each day to purge the space. This process is handled automatically via the buildings control system.
  4. Upgrading filters - this will occur in some high occupancy spaces with suitable air conditioning systems and will improve filtration efficiency by up to 300% (for 3-10 µm particles)

Due to the diversity of buildings on campus, our aim is to implement at least of the above strategies in each building. Where this is not possible, we will look at temporary changes.

It's important to remember that our buildings have all been assessed and deemed safe in their current state, without any enhancements, and meet all current requirements.

You can read more about these strategies and our work to improve ventilation here.

Will these changes impact the temperature and comfort of the buildings?

We are actively working to monitor building temperatures to ensure occupant comfort is maintained.  We can expect some variations in temperatures, where some rooms may be a little warmer in summer and cooler in winter than before as we work through the new solutions.

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Cleaning and sanitisation

Buildings will be professionally cleaned daily during business hours. Everyone has an important role to play in keeping our campus safe - staff will continue to have access to disinfectant sprays for use in keeping desk spaces and common areas regularly wiped down. Cleaning in response to COVID cases on campus will be targeted to those areas that are assessed as representing a higher risk of spread. 

Hand sanitiser will continue to be available in all foyers and common areas to help maintain good hand hygiene.  

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Current alert level

Our current campus alert level is MEDIUM risk.

Read the ANU COVID-safe Guidelines for more information on the COVID-safe Campus Alert System.