Dear ANU staff and students,
I want to provide an update on the evolving COVID situation in Australia and the impact on our community.
As of today, there are active local cases in all jurisdictions except the ACT, Tasmania and South Australia. Hundreds of people in our ACT community are currently under stay-at-home orders.
We continue to support all staff and students, who are required to work or study remotely, to do so.
Supervisors should also give staff the flexibility to work from home if they feel uncomfortable. Please discuss your individual arrangements with your supervisor.
It is more important than ever to isolate and get tested if you feel unwell.
Please alert our COVID Response Office if you are:
- a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19
- identified a close contact or a secondary contact of COVID-19
- notified of a requirement to stay at home, or to quarantine.
Campus alert level
Our current campus alert level is 'blue plus masks'. This is on the basis that the trigger for movement to a higher alert level has not been reached, as there is no local transmission in the ACT.
However, we must enter an increased state of readiness and be prepared to escalate in coming days as the situation evolves. Please ensure that you are familiar with the actions required under higher alert levels.
Wearing masks on the ANU Acton campus
In response to the heightened risk levels around the country, the ACT Government announced yesterday that masks are now mandatory in the ACT.
In line with this, everyone on the ANU Acton campus must wear masks when indoors with people they don't usually live or work with, or on public transport.
These rules also apply to those who have been fully vaccinated.
Wear a mask:
- while transiting to your work environment on public transport, or walking through other areas of the building
- when using common spaces where you mix with others from outside your working environment
- if you are in a public-facing role
- in any commercial spaces on campus
- in other buildings where you don't usually work.
For classrooms and teaching areas, students must wear masks. Lecturers may take off their masks if they feel it necessary, but should use a microphone to ensure they don't have to project their voice excessively.
You are not required to wear a mask when outside, but you should always have one with you.
Our advice is to use common sense and, if in doubt, wear a mask.
It's really pleasing to see how quickly people have already adapted to this change on campus. Most people I have seen today were either wearing masks or had them in their hands.
There are some exemptions to mask wearing, and I advise you to read the ACT Public Health Direction and ACT Health advice.
Travel restrictions and stay-at-home requirements
It is important that everyone keeps up to date with the latest advice from ACT Health.
There are currently travel requirements in place for New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Northern Territory and New Zealand, including stay-at-home requirements for anyone who has been in Greater Sydney and Darwin.
The Northern Territory has announced a 48-hour lockdown for Greater Darwin. We're closing our ANU North Australian Research Unit (NARU) campus for the length of the lockdown and will follow all NT Government guidelines.
Please download our campus safety app, 'ANUOK', if you haven't already done so.
Make sure you turn on push notifications to stay informed about what's happening that affects our community.
Support and questions
Please access support if you need it. We have a number of free support services available for our community. The pandemic has been stressful, unsettling and overwhelming and it's okay to need a little extra support for your mental and physical wellbeing.
If you need any further advice or information, please contact our COVID Response team.
Professor Air Vice-Marshal (Ret) Tracy Smart AO
Professor, Military and Aerospace Medicine
Public Health Lead - COVID Response Office
The Australian National University, Canberra | CRICOS Provider: 00120C | ABN: 52 234 063 906