COVID-19 Student Update – 23 March 2020

23 March 2020

Hi everyone,  

Here is an update on our plans to support business continuity for teaching and research, as the COVID-19 response continues to evolve.  

This email will cover:  

Overnight, the Federal Government increased restrictions on social gatherings. You can see the full list here. Essential services will continue to operate, and this includes childcare centres. The University has a critical role to play in both our community's, and the nation's response to COVID-19. Therefore, the University must continue to operate throughout this crisis. But at the same time, we must do so safely. 

Over the course of this week, I expect many of us to transition to working from home, so that those who are needed on our campus can work here safely. As part of our University continuity planning, I have asked for each part of ANU to identify those activities that cannot be undertaken remotely. We will then develop workaround arrangements. As a guide, I will plan to work from home for the rest of this week. Some of us are needed on campus, and they must be given the opportunity to be here with minimal risk of unnecessary interaction. 

For those of you who have school-age children or other caring responsibilities, the University will seek to support whatever decisions you must make that are in the best interests of your family. Please ensure you discuss your plans with your supervisor. 

For those of you preparing for teaching next week, we are still in the 'pause' week (23-27 March), and I want us to do everything we can to enable remote learning for our students to commence from next Monday, 30 March. If you are a convener of a class, please keep coordinating with your Associate Dean (Education). 

And, recognizing everyone's personal circumstances are different, while we strongly encourage you to work from home, we will not require you to do so. 

You can read about the university's continuity planning below.  

COVID-19 case information

Late yesterday ANU was notified that a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 - contact tracing is complete, a small number of people are in isolation and deep cleaning has been undertaken as required.   

We ask any member of our community that is required to self-isolate or is diagnosed with COVID-19 to disclose this using this form (or copy and paste this URL into your browser): We will work with any affected student or staff member to provide support and protect their privacy.   

If a member of your team, or a student contacts you about testing positive for COVID-19, you must contact   

Everyone has a right to privacy of their health information, and we ask that you don't pass on rumour or private information.  

To keep you informed of the COVID-19 situation in the ANU community, when we become aware of confirmed cases, we'll publish appropriate limited information online. Our protocols are effective - contacts will be traced, self-isolation implemented and relevant facilities deep cleaned as per ACT Health guidelines.   

University continuity

This week's priority is to finalise business continuity plans. Your Dean, Director and Portfolio Head are working on this and will provide more details - please do whatever you can to assist them. The coursework teaching pause remains in place for this week. Remote teaching will resume from Monday 30 March.   

Our priority is to continue to keep our community safe while we work together to minimise disruptions to those essential teaching and research activities that are the core of ANU.  

More information about working remotely is available here.  

What you need to know

The way we work will have to change, and tomorrow many of us will be working remotely for the foreseeable future. Please bear with us as we embed the processes that will support this new way of working.  The University will try to be as flexible as possible throughout this crisis, and in turn we ask that our staff are as flexible as possible so that we can meet the ongoing challenges together. 

This year has been tough for our community, and I want to thank you again for your patience, support and resilience as we continue to respond to these challenges together.