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COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Student Update 5

/ Coronavirus Student Updates
The developments that have occurred over the last 24 hours, as a result of State and Federal Government announcements, will no doubt be on many people’s minds. I write to update you on how this looks for SWTAFE.
  • The Department of Education and Training (DET) has today provided clarification in regard to an early holiday closure for our students, and as a result I’d like to outline what the plans for SWTAFE are for the weeks ahead.
  • South West TAFE student holidays will be brought forward to now commence on the evening of Tuesday 24th March instead of Friday 27th March (or as soon as practical for any students undertaking exams).
  • During this time SWTAFE staff will be working on plans for a transition to remote or flexible learning and will keep you posted of how any changes to our training delivery.
  • While this is a challenging time, it’s also an exciting one as we utilise innovative online practices to expand our ability to deliver TAFE courses using new modes in the future.

SWTAFE gym closure

Please note the gym at SWTAFE Warrnambool Campus is closed from today and cannot be accessed by staff or students until further notice.

Warrnambool Campus Café

At this point in time the Warrnambool campus café will now only provide a take-away service

How to stay healthy

Remember while you are on holidays, the best advice is to adjust our behaviour and act as if we were actually sick (even if we are not) i.e. be careful with hand washing, coughing, sneezing etc.  This simple change in behaviour will greatly assist in diminishing potential spread.

The Dept. of Health continues to stress that the most important action is to practice good hand hygiene.  They recommend taking the following steps to reduce your exposure and chances of getting ill with COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds), especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly.
  • Stay home if you are sick and don’t expose others.
  • Get vaccinated for flu (influenza) when available in April. It is not yet known whether COVID-19 could significantly increase the risks of influenza infection.
  • Stop shaking hands as a greeting.
  • Maintain physical distancing of 1.5m at all times.

Student well-being

We understand some students may have feelings of anxiety and concern in relation to the coronavirus and offer the following wellbeing advice from Beyond Blue.

Try to maintain perspective

While it is reasonable for people to be concerned about the outbreak of coronavirus, try to remember that medical, scientific and public health experts around the world are working hard to contain the virus, treat those affected and develop a vaccine as quickly as possible.

Find a healthy balance in relation to media coverage

Being exposed to large volumes of negative information can heighten feelings of anxiety. While it’s important to stay informed, you may find it useful to limit your media intake if it is upsetting you or your family.

Access free support

Our Student Wellbeing team are available to assist all students and always happy to chat, particularly during this time.  Feel free to contact on any of our team members:

Access good quality information

It’s important to get accurate information from credible sources. This will also help you maintain perspective and feel more in control as you try to filter information from so many sources.  These are the trusted sites for accurate and up-to-date info:

Have questions?

If you have any questions while you are on holidays you can contact our Customer Service Team on 1300 648 911 or ask to speak to your teacher. 

If they are unable to assist they will liaise with the Incident Response Team incident.response@swtafe.edu.au

We have also created an information portal on the SWTAFE website that can be accessed for the latest information, FAQ’s and student updates:

https://www.swtafe.edu.au/about-us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

Thank you

Thank you for your understanding as we manage through this challenging period.  We will continue to communicate with you as we adjust our operations and will provide regular updates to all of our students.

If there are important questions that you don’t feel are being answered please let us know via incident.response@swtafe.edu.au.

Stay healthy during your break,

Mark Fidge

CEO – South West TAFE