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COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Student Update 13

/ Coronavirus Student Updates
As you would be aware, on Sunday 2 August, The Victorian Government made a series of significant announcements in line with advice from the Chief Health Officer about restrictions in Victoria to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 update
  • From 6pm on 2 August, Stage 4 restrictions will be in place across metropolitan Melbourne.
  • From 11:59pm on 5 August, Stage 3 restrictions will be in place throughout regional Victoria.
  • Mitchell Shire will remain in Stage 3 restrictions.

For regional Victoria, this will now mean there will be only four reasons to leave your home, and no one is allowed to visit your home:

  1. Care and caregiving (including medical appointments)
  2. Work and education if it cannot be done from home
  3. Shopping for food and essentials
  4. Exercise

These changes will be in place for at least the next six weeks.  The Victorian Government will keep reviewing and realigning the restrictions in line with the advice of the health experts and have said if they can change things earlier, they will.

How do these restrictions impact training delivery at SWTAFE?
These announcements will mean that TAFEs in regional Victoria are only under Stage 3 restrictions, and will operate differently to those in metropolitan Melbourne which are under Stage 4 restrictions.

The good news is the Stage 3 restrictions will not significantly change our current operations.

What has changed?
The main change is that VCAL will be delivered remotely, apart from mandatory assessments and classes for Adult VCAL that need to be delivered on-site.

Also, VET DSS students attending a SWTAFE campus are not required to attend classes this week. These VET DSS classes will be moving to remote learning and students will receive more detailed information about arrangements from their teachers.

Students from Pure Academy will be remote learning for the next two weeks, after which they will be informed of their training plan on or off-campus as required.

However, for the majority of training provision by TAFE, there is little change to the previous advice relating to COVID-19.  This means:

  • SWTAFE will continue to deliver via remote learning wherever possible
  • on-site attendance will be permitted for practical teaching, assessments or other activity that can’t be conducted remotely or online
  • where face-to-face training is necessary, all training will be provided in line with DHHS protocols and the most recent health advice
  • physical distancing practices must be maintained by students, including keeping a distance of 1.5m between individuals, as well as the wearing of face masks

Does everyone have to wear a face-covering?

As mentioned in the update provided on Friday 31 July, the wearing of a face covering is now compulsory in regional Victoria when you are outside your home. 

  • All students must wear face coverings at all times on campus.
  • Teachers are not required to wear face coverings during course delivery, but they must be worn at all other times on campus and where 1.5 metres physical distancing cannot be maintained in class.
  • Staff and students are encouraged to bring their own face covering, however a limited supply of disposable masks is available for students at each campus reception.

Make sure you wear your face mask correctly, here’s a simple video to show you how:

What to do if you are unwell or being tested for COVID-19?

  • If you are unwell you must not attend any SWTAFE campus.
  • Unwell students should report their absence and illness to their teacher.
  • If you are being COVID tested you must report this to your SWTAFE teacher.
  • You should also remain isolated until you have received confirmation of a negative COVID test.
  • You should then inform your teacher of the test result.
  • If your results are negative and you are attending a campus, you may resume attendance on campus
  • If your test results are positive, you must follow the direction from DHHS and not attend campus until you have been provided with confirmation that you no longer have the virus.
  • SWTAFE will require written confirmation of the COVID test results in order to resume any attendance on campus.

Keeping COVID safe

It seems 2020 continues to be a rollercoaster ride for us.  But I’m confident that the temporary sacrifices we make now will help to keep our co-workers, family, and our regional community safe.

Thank you for your contribution to our commitment to ‘keep keeping COVID safe’ at SWTAFE.

Mark Fidge
South West TAFE