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Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Last updated 04/03/2021

University College is monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and implementing measures to keep our community safe and continuing to operate. We need to be proactive and adhere to the strict social distancing measures as outlined by the government. Some of our students, staff and wider visitors could be particularly vulnerable to the severe complications that may come with contracting COVID-19.

We will update these FAQs regularly and continue to review our response to this evolving situation in line with recommendations from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and the DHHS. Please do not hesitate to contact the College on info@unicol.unimelb.edu.au if you have any further queries or concerns.

Update for Melbourne

The College remains open and will continue to operate according to the Guidelines for COVID-19 for student accommodation. 

Is UC taking applications?

We are now full for semester 1, 2021 and are operating at capacity with COVID Safe measures in place. Applications are open for semester 2 and 2022.

Can I visit UC?

No external guests (with the exception of essential contractors) are permitted onsite currently unless by invitation of the college. Students are not able to bring external guests on campus at this time.

Have there been any COVID-19 cases at UC? What will happen if there is a case?

While there are no current cases (or suspected cases) of COVID-19 at UC, we have developed a healthcare plan for students, outlining possible scenarios if a case of COVID-19 were to be suspected or confirmed. We will also inform you immediately should a suspected or confirmed case occur. We have also produced healthcare plans for staff and our resident tutors. We have apartments that we have kept vacant as isolation wings if required while students await any test results.

Is UC going to close?

The College continues to operate as an essential service for our students and has no intention of closing unless instructed to do so by government.  Rest assured that our students’ welfare remains first and foremost and students will continue to have access to all academic and wellbeing support services via online or telephone. We remain committed to supporting our students to stay in college at any stage of this crisis as long as they do not have a confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus, or we are required to shut by relevant authorities.

What is life like on campus right now?

We acknowledge that due to the government measures, the nature of the college experience will be very different, but we all have to do our bit to keep each other safe. As with other colleges, within our community here at UC we have taken practical steps to support you in implementing the latest government guidelines. However sports and other events are slowly returning, albeit with reduced capacity and restrictions.

What additional measures is the College taking in response to COVID-19?
  • Cleaning: will be increased in communal areas. We have also improved access to soap and hand sanitiser and distributed communications about hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • Social distancing: we are encouraging all students and staff to follow social distancing precautions – which include avoiding unnecessary contact, avoiding crowded areas and peak meal times, and staying one 1.5m apart.
  • Masks: Students are also required to now wear masks in the dining hall and we still have capacity limits on communal areas.
What do you mean by social distancing?
  • Avoid handshaking, hugging and other close interactions
  • Utilise online learning where possible
  • Avoid large gatherings and peak meal times
  • Isolate yourself if feeling ill
  • A maximum of one person is permitted in student bedrooms at one time and time in enclosed spaces with another person must be limited to 30 minutes
  • All gatherings must comply with social distancing parameters of at least 1.5m between each student in accordance with the stipulated health guidelines
Additional student support

We are very aware of the impact these incredible times are having on the wellbeing of our community. To support our students and assist in keeping our community safe, we have engaged additional resources, with four experienced youth workers now joining our dedicated staff team.

The youth workers are on active duty in the evenings, based at reception, while also walking around the College to ensure the safety of the community and best support student’s social, emotional and physical wellbeing. They also assist in the Dining Hall during the lunch and evening meal services to ensure the appropriate social distancing and safety protocols are observed in support of our community.

Our youth workers are very experienced in, and have a passion for, working with young adults. They are familiar with dealing with the range of issues that impact young adults and, in the event of an emergency, each have strong first response and first aid qualifications and experience.

How can I help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
  • Wash your hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Dry your hands with disposable paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if you can help it.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow if you don’t have a tissue. Not your hands!
  • Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick.
  • Phone your GP first if you think you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
  • Continue healthy habits like exercise, drinking water and getting plenty of sleep.
  • Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.
  • If you’re a smoker, today is the day to stop and call the quit line.
  • To be really cautious, avoid shaking hands and implement other social distancing measures