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Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

12 March 2020

General Information

What is Box Hill Institute doing about coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Box Hill Institute is closely monitoring the situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) and we are taking advice from the relevant authorities, including the Australian Government’s Department of Health, Department of Education, DFAT Smart Traveller and the World Health Organisation.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19) can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, sore throat and runny nose. Simply having these symptoms is not a definite indication that someone has coronavirus. These are the same symptoms found in any number of virus infections such as the common cold and influenza.

Is there support available for students having concerns as a result of the coronavirus outbreak?

If you do not have symptoms and would like to speak to someone, please contact Student Life on 9286 9891 or email studentlife@boxhill.edu.au. If you do have symptoms, please contact your general practitioner. This will allow you to share your full travel history and risk of contact, and they will advise you of what you need to do.  If you have immediate health concerns, please call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.


What should I do if I am feeling unwell?

It’s important to stay calm and remember early symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are consistent with a range of illnesses, most of which are not considered serious for otherwise healthy people. However, if you have travelled through an affected area or may have been in contact with someone who has and you develop symptoms, we recommend that you contact your healthcare provider as soon as practicable and share your full travel history, contact risk and your symptoms when booking your appointment (before you attend the clinic). This is to enable them to prepare to keep you and others safe on your arrival. If you feel unwell, we encourage you to stay at home and seek medical advice.

Who should I call for health advice or information?

For over-the-phone advice, the best number to call is the coronavirus hotline, 1800 675 398. For the most up-to-date information on travel restrictions visit Smart Traveller or the Australian Department of Health coronavirus websites.

Do face masks protect against the virus?

Australia’s Chief Health Officer and Victorian Chief Health Officer have advised that face masks are not recommended or necessary for the general public. The Government and World Health Organisation recommend that the only people who should wear masks in relation to the coronavirus are those who are unwell and have a relevant travel history and those caring for a coronavirus patient.

What other precautions can I take to protect my health?

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has provided the following tips to enhance personal health and hygiene:

  • Social distancing and maintaining at least 1.5 metres of space around you and others at all times.
  • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • 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.
  • Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick.
  • If you take medication ensure you have adequate supplies.
  • Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
  • Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, and now is the time to quit smoking. Call the Quitline 137 848.
  • No need to wear a face mask if you are well.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.
  • Get the flu shot (available from April).

As of 11:59pm Monday 30 March 2020 gatherings will be restricted to no more than 2 people except for members of your immediate household and for work or education. This will be in place for 4 weeks and reviewed as required. There are only 4 reasons you can be out:

  • shopping for what you need - food and essential supplies
  • medical, care or compassionate needs
  • exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements
  • work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely

Class Information

Are classes running?

Yes, Box Hill Institute is running classes. Currently many courses are being converted for remote delivery as we speak.

Will they continue to run in the next couple weeks?

The coronavirus response is evolving quickly. Box Hill Institute is examining alternative ways to delivering classes and will keep everyone informed of changes of delivery modes. 

Who do I contact if I am not coming back to class?

Please contact your teacher or course coordinator to advise of your planned absence.

Are we planning on moving some classes to online delivery?

Yes, this is currently being explored and many courses are being converted for remote delivery as we speak. 

If we don't attend classes due to fear of infection, will this affect our attendance rate?

It is important that absent students contact their coordinator or teacher as soon as possible to discuss options for catching up on work or to make alternate arrangements to minimise being penalised.

Will classes be postponed entirely or will there be an online alternative?

Arrangements for providing alternative course delivery is currently being explored and in many cases remote versions developed. Your coordinator will be in touch with you shortly in regards to your options.

What should I do if my apprenticeship interacts with several strangers per day (e.g. Hairdressing)? Are we still expected to attend?

Currently, we’re encouraging everyone to follow business as usual, which includes attending your apprenticeship. The coronavirus response is evolving quickly and if the situation changes, we will let you know. High risk areas are being addressed at present and you should have some communication come through soon.

If I am a current student and need to self-isolate will I be supported?

You will be supported. Contact your coordinator as soon as possible to discuss options for catching up on work or to make alternate arrangements. You can also contact Student Life on (03) 9286 9891 or via email at studentlife@boxhill.edu.au.

What steps do I need to take if I need to self-isolate? Who do I notify?

The Federal Department of Health website has details on self-isolation. During the 14 days of isolation, you must stay at home or in your place of residence and don’t go to public places including work, school, childcare or public gatherings. Notify your coordinator or teacher as soon as you can. 

Should classes get cancelled, will this affect my Free TAFE spot/government subsidised place for future courses?

There are no plans to cancel courses at this stage, but to look at alternate methods of delivery. We will be directed by the Education Department in regards to what would be affected, and we will communicate it back to you.

If someone is coughing or showing symptoms in class, who should I tell?

Please tell your teacher if someone is coughing or showing symptoms in class.