Monash U’s coronavirus advice: calm, comprehensive, considered

The Commonwealth Department of Health has issued guidelines for universities and VET. Monash U has a much more comprehensive response

Students and staff who are, “a close contact of a confirmed case” of the coronavirus and have symptoms, “cannot attend the university or vocational education facility until Public Health informs them that it is safe for them to do so.” However, if they have no symptoms, “they should not be excluded from attending university or a vocational education facility the Department advises.

Students and staff who have been in China but have no symptoms, “may attend the university or vocational education facility and should not be excluded.”

It’s a pre-emptive help for the higher education sector, where no institution is panicking, at least not yet.

But it palls compared to a brief to staff by Monash U‘s Chief Medical Officer Vicki Ashton.  Late yesterday Dr Ashton, calmly and comprehensively set out  the risks as now known and the university’s travel precautions in place.

Dr Ashton advises classes are on but February supplementary exams aren’t, with alternatives to be advised. And anybody feeling crook should self-exclude from class without penalty.

It was a model other institutions could consider – calm, considered, comprehensive.