COVID-19 Staff Update – 20 March 2020

20 March 2020

Message to all staff

Hello everyone, 

I start this update with the news that, unfortunately, an ANU student who is interstate has tested positive to COVID-19. Our thoughts are with our student and their family and friends.  The student has requested privacy at this time. 

The student is being cared for by health authorities, and is following their advice and directions. They haven't been to campus or the ACT. We've been in contact with the student and are providing additional support through the University's Community Wellbeing team. 

There remain only six cases of COVID-19 in the ACT and none on our campus. There have been more than 2000 negative tests for the coronavirus.  

If you, or someone you know thinks they may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19, or test positive for the virus, please contact This will allow us to support you; and also ensure the safety of our community. 

This email covers: 


Social distancing 
What to do if you are feeling unwell 
Additional support 


The safety of our community is everyone's responsibility. Social distancing is not optional, it is compulsory for anyone visiting our campus.  

One of the most important ways you can help prevent the spread of the virus is to practice good hygiene and social distancing. I've had several questions about what this looks like in the classroom, in your office or in our student accommodation. The overall principles remain the same: if you are sick, do not come to classes; wash your hands regularly with soap; practice cough or sneeze etiquette and wipe down shared spaces regularly. For social distancing this means, you need to stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people at all times, and do not engage in handshakes, hugs or other touching. You are required to keep face-to-face meetings to 15 minutes or less in small spaces; or under two hours in larger spaces. Where possible, consider holding meetings outside, or use teleconference platforms like Zoom

You can read more about social distancing options for teaching, working in an office or living on campus here


Today is our last day of coursework teaching before the pause next week. I've had several questions about what the pause means for staff and students, and which services will remain open on campus. 

For clarity, this is a one week pause in coursework teaching and the campus will remain open and operational during this time. We will resume teaching in an online environment, or other forms of remote participation from Monday 30 March. During the pause, ANU staff will be working through issues for courses which are normally reliant on face to face teaching to develop tailored solutions.  

For staff, specific tools and materials are being developed to help you with your planning during the pause next week and will be issued as soon as possible on the website.  An update for researchers is available here.  


The Australian Government has announced updated travel restrictions for entry into Australia effective from 9pm tonight.  This means only Australian citizens, permanent residents and immediate family members will be able to enter and will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. 

We have recalled all our staff and students on University travel and the Community Wellbeing team is supporting them to return to Australia.  

  • Returning exchange students should contact or +61 2 6125 7857.  
  • HDR students and staff should contact the Community Wellbeing team at or phoning +61 2 6125 3346 (option 1) during business hours, or ANU Security after hours with their travel movements.  
  • Students, who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents who are currently transiting to Australia should contact

We strongly recommend you reconsider any upcoming domestic travel. It is up to us as a community to work together to reduce the risk of COVID-19 on campus and in the Canberra community.  

More information on travel restrictions and University travel here

Finally, I hope everyone will enjoy the weekend and look forward to working with you next week in our teaching pause where we prepare for the coming weeks and months.  



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