Update Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated - 19 Nov 2021 4:24pm

Update Friday 19 November 2021

Restrictions and Vaccination Update at Phase D of Roadmap

The Victorian Government has announced changes to COVID restrictions upon reaching the 90 per cent community double dose vaccination target.

This is now Phase D in its ‘Roadmap’ - and these changes are effective from 11.59pm Thursday 18 November 2021.

The Government’s media release can be read here

Vaccination Requirements to attend a TAFE Gippsland Campus

Phase D of the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 Roadmap has commenced with many restrictions removed for TAFEs and other higher education providers. Additional clarity around vaccination requirements for students in order to access our campus facilities is being sought from the Department of Education and Training. There are no changes to the rules in relation to staff and TAFE Gippsland is maintaining its current position as outlined to all staff and students over recent weeks. The requirements are:

  • Up to 25 November 2021, students will be allowed on campus, if they have received their first COVID-19 vaccination AND are awaiting their second dose.
  • From 26 November 2021 onwards, all students MUST be fully vaccinated.
  • The exemption for secondary school students remains.

If this advice changes, we will let you know.

We will continue to check the vaccination status of students attending our campuses in line with the updated requirements, and we’ll make it clear that full vaccination evidence – either through the Power App or via certificate presentation at Reception - is required by Friday 26 November.

As previously advised, the date for students to be fully vaccinated in order to attend a TAFE Gippsland campus or training facility, has now been extended from Wednesday 3 November 2021 to Friday 26 November 2021.This change provides students with enough time to fully comply with the current health advice. All students and employers have been informed of this change.

This means that any TAFE Gippsland student, apprentice or trainee who has had their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, and are awaiting their second dose, can now attend on-site learning up until Friday 26 November 2021 for hands-on, skills based learning/assessments

From 26 November, 2021, all TAFE Gippsland students, staff and visitors attending campus must be fully vaccinated with the exception of:

  • those undertaking school based learning (VCAL and VETDSS)
  • those under 16 years of age
  • those who have an authorised medical exemption*

Some students have additional requirements from their employers and should now be fully vaccinated to be able to continue to work and study. This includes workers in construction, nursing, aged care and early childhood education.

*Proof of medical exemption requirement

From 6pm on Friday 12 November, a person who is exempt from vaccination requirements will also need to have an Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation medical exemption form, that is completed and signed by a medical practitioner, instead of a completed and signed medical certificate.

This means that any student who has already provided evidence of an exemption by way of a medical certificate will need to re-submit proof of their AIR exemption to TAFE Gippsland by 6pm on Friday 12 November to comply with the new requirement.

We still request that you continue to advise us as your vaccination status changes (as per the advice and processes outlined below).

Proof of vaccination

When you arrive on campus, visit our Client Services staff or our Reception Desk staff. Our team will sight your vaccination status or Certificate. Please be ready to show us your status using the myGov website or you can bring a hard copy of your Certificate to be sighted.

At all times while on campus, you must wear a properly fitted face mask indoors, unless you have an authorised legal exemption. You may be asked to provide evidence of that exemption. While masks are no longer required outdoors, you must carry one at all times.

Permits no longer required for on-campus learning

Authorised worker permits issued by employers are no longer required to come on campus at TAFE Gippsland.

TAFE Gippsland COVID-19 Hotline: 8.30am - 5pm, Working week

Any students, staff or campus visitors that are notified they are a direct contact of a confirmed case, or have attended an exposure site (either listed on DHHS or because you’ve been contacted directly) or have any COVID symptoms, are asked do the following:

  • get tested
  • stay home
  • contact your teacher
  • Send an email to our COVID hotline at Covid-19@tafegippsland.edu.au (it is always monitored during the working week)

After hours, you can also email the Hotline and include the following details:

  • your first name last name,
  • student ID (if applicable),
  • contact phone number and the date you’ve been tested,
  • test result (if known) and;
  • the reason you got tested.

Future Communications

Please check your emails regularly for any COVID-19 updates from TAFE Gippsland. Teaching departments will communicate any class updates via email or through Moodle.

Communications have been sent to all TAFE Gippsland students and employers to ensure they are fully aware of their obligations while on a TAFE Gippsland campus. The communications emphasised TAFE Gippsland’s commitment to be compliant with the Victorian Government’s public health orders and Phase C of the Roadmap in relation to Higher Education.

Response to Positive COVID-19 case at Yallourn Campus Monday 11 October 2021

This afternoon, TAFE Gippsland was made aware of positive case of COVID-19 in a trade student at our Yallourn campus.

A student attending classes at our Yallourn campus was notified of his COVID-19 positive result and immediately advised teaching staff.  The student had presented for a COVID test on Sunday 10 October after not feeling well.

Unfortunately the student has had contact with other students and teaching staff during last week. All students who have been deemed as close contacts with the positive student have since been notified individually this evening, and all are being advised to self-isolate immediately and to get tested as soon as possible. We are also in the process of advising all employers of these students.

TAFE Gippsland's Media Release can be found here

October Update

Recent COVID-19 advice from the Victorian Government has changed in relation to the training allowed to take place on TAFE Gippsland campuses at this time.

Unless otherwise advised by teaching staff, all TAFE Gippsland campuses will reopen for face-to-face training from Wednesday 3 November - see details above.

Specific information has been provided to staff, students, employers and co-tenants via sms, edm and through our teaching staff in respect of class arrangements for Term 4, 2021.

For further information on our revised training arrangements, drop us an email via the COVID hotline.

Please note that Face masks are mandatory indoors at TAFE Gippsland unless a legal exception applies: Facemasks are no longer mandatory outdoors as of 6pm Friday 29 October in line with CHO public health orders.

QR Code checking in is also mandatory at TAFE Gippsland campuses for all staff, students, contractors and visitors

  • If you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, you should get tested for COVID-19.
  • QR Codes: Check-in everywhere you visit using the Service Victoria QR code app, no matter how long you spend at that location.

In addition we would like to provide the following information to support you during this time:

Good hygiene is the best defence against COVID-19

Following good hygiene practices are the most effective way of protecting yourself from COVID-19. This includes:

  • Washing your hands regularly with soap and water, especially before eating, preparing food, smoking and using the toilet. Follow these five steps every time.
    • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
    • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
    • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
    • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
    • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
  • Utilise alcohol-based hand sanitiser when you can’t use soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue - or cough into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards.
  • Wherever possible avoid touching your face as this is the primary route of exposure (eyes, nose and mouth).

Use of properly-fitted masks in the community are subject to the Victorian Government's public health orders and are mandatory at all TAFE Gippsland campuses unless the public health orders change. Students refusing to wear a facemask will be asked to leave the campus immediately..

You must remain at home if you feel unwell or you have symptoms of COVID-19. You should arrange to get tested immediately.

If you are unwell and suspect you may have COVID-19 (cold and flu like symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and breathing difficulties), we request that you remain at home and seek medical advice through the Coronavirus Hotline or your GP.

Advice for TAFE Gippsland students

TAFE Gippsland cannot stress enough the need to follow the current health advice as issued by the Victorian Government. If you or a fellow student is unwell, you MUST stay home and you MUST NOT present in an un-fit state of health at any TAFE Gippsland campus.

If you are located in a designated lockdown local government area, and you need to travel for study to a TAFE Gippsland campus, you will be issued a Worker Permit or a Travel Exemption letter depending on the current public health orders.

Importantly, you must notify TAFE Gippsland immediately if you are getting tested for COVID-19. If you do test positive for COVID-19, please call 1300 133 717 and your call will be referred to our Health Safety & Wellbeing team.  We will need the following information:

  • Name
  • Campus
  • Course or program name
  • Classes attended
  • Teachers name
  • Date/time of notification
  • Contact phone number
  • Other relevant information

All student details and personal information will be subject to privacy provisions.

TAFE Gippsland will notify all relevant staff, students and employers immediately if we have a confirmed case of COVID-19, in accordance with our COVIDsafe protocols and advice from the Department of Health (DoH).

Student Support Services

Student Support offers free and confidential counselling, financial support and career advice. If you need extra help or are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, please contact us at: studentservices@tafegippsland.edu.au

For all up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Victoria - https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

24/7 support is also available through the following external agencies.

  • Beyond Blue (24/7 support) 1300 224 636 beyondblue.org.au - Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
  • Lifeline (24/7 support) 13 11 14 lifeline.org.au - Lifeline is a national service providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
  • Kids Help Line (24/7 support) 1800 551 800 kidshelpline.com.au - Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged up to 25.

Campuses

Subject to the current health orders, campuses MAY be open to students to access our services. Our libraries at Bairnsdale, Flexible Leaning Centre (Sale), Morwell, Traralgon, Warragul and Leongatha are available to use the computers, printers and loan and return books. NOTE - TAFE Gippsland campuses are CLOSED to all non-Authorised Worker training at this time

If you do use TAFE Gippsland facilities, we kindly ask that social distancing rules and good hygiene practices be adhered to in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. The study areas and computer banks have been adapted to accommodate these practices with regular cleaning regimes now in place.

Covid Safe Plans

Key contact information, links and resources

Please visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus or contact the Coronavirus Health Information line on 1800 020 080 for the latest information about COVID19 in Victoria,

For any TAFE Gippsland-related COVID-19 questions, please contact us at: COVID-19@tafegippsland.edu.au or 1300 133 717.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only

Additional handy links

Resources

Our primary focus in all decision making is the health and well-being of our staff and students. We encourage everyone to take care of their personal health. If you need further advice and support, please contact the numbers and help lines we have set out above.

Summary Information

If you are seeking general advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), please contact the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

If you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms of the virus, please call the dedicated Victorian COVID-19 hotline on 1800 675 398 and follow their advice.

If you are a TAFE Gippsland student and have been confirmed as having COVID-19, please call 1300 133 717 immediately and we will take the necessary actions from there.

For all TAFE Gippsland-related COVID-19 questions/enquiries, please feel free to contact us at covid-19@tafegippsland.edu.au.