Southern Cross University coronavirus statement, 16 March 2020

Published 16 March 2020
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Southern Cross University is continuing to closely monitor the developments of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

The University’s decision-making is guided by the fundamental principle of prioritising the health and safety of staff and students, said Southern Cross University Vice President (Operations) Allan Morris

“We will continue to apply an abundance of caution as we actively review our practices in order to ensure that we are able to continue to operate throughout this situation,” Mr Morris said.

“This is a fluid situation where the circumstances are constantly changing and being reviewed.”

The University is open and fully functioning, however where possible courses are actively being transitioned to online delivery mode. Staff who can work effectively from home have been encouraged to do so with the majority of business meetings now being conducted via video.

Based on the latest health and government advice the University, through its COVID-19 Incident Group, will cancel or postpone as many non-essential events as possible, this includes graduation ceremonies until June, however this will not delay the conferral of degrees for official purposes.

Other static events involving more than 500 people - such as the Northern Rivers Engineering Challenge at Lismore campus in June - have been postponed, and smaller essential events will proceed without the provision of food.

The on-campus cleaning regime has stepped up to the highest level of deep-cleaning.

The University is supporting five staff returning from official travel overseas, offering every assistance with their mandatory 14-day self-isolation upon arrival. Meanwhile all staff and students who have recently entered Australia ­­- whether on personal or professional travel - are asked to self-isolate for the required 14-day period, and the University has extended the ban of all staff and student international travel into or out of Australia.

All specific actions related to closures and changes to Southern Cross University operations will be listed in the daily-updated www.scu.edu.au/coronavirus website.

Media contact: Jessica Nelson 0417288794 or scumedia@scu.edu.au