There was good news over the weekend and this morning of continued low numbers of COVID-19 cases related to the Parafield cluster in SA. Whilst things are looking positive, we are aware this week will be critical in ensuring SA avoids a return to restrictions on people’s movements and activities.
Working arrangements for SA-based staff
As advised on Friday, our SA campuses remain physically closed until Wednesday at which time we will re-open our facilities and services. Staff and student can still access the buildings before Wednesday if needed.
Whilst we will be open from Wednesday, we are mindful of the advice from SA Health today advising people to work from home if possible this week.
Your managers or supervisor will be in touch tomorrow to confirm your work arrangements from Wednesday onwards if they have not already done so.
We anticipate that this will reflect the arrangements which were put in place last Monday, in that staff who could do their work from home would do so, and that supervisors would look to roster teams on campus to reduce further the number of staff present at any given time.
Staff with increased vulnerability to COVID-19 should work from home. Advice on those people with increased vulnerability to COVID-19 is provided by the Federal Department of Health here.
These working arrangements will apply from Wednesday 25 to Friday 27 November unless otherwise advised.
Thank you to our Deans Education, Course Coordinators and Topic Coordinators who worked very hard last week to put plans in place for those students who had exams scheduled which were unavoidably disrupted due to the lockdown. I have today written to students to advise them of the special arrangement being put in place to ensure that all students can complete their assessments for Semester 2. I have also notified students of the need to minimise unnecessary travel and advised them to only attend campus if they are need to do so to attend a class, examination or other scheduled activity, or if they need to access a facility or service this week which is not available online.
SA Health advises face masks are an additional physical barrier, and help to stop the spread of COVID-19. At this time in South Australia it is not mandatory, but it is recommended to wear a mask when out in public if you are unable to physically distance.
Meanwhile, SA Health has advised that the wearing of masks is mandatory at the Flinders Medical Centre. We have been advised that anyone entering FMC and the adjacent Margaret Tobin Building will be required to wear masks whilst indoors these spaces, unless they are the sole occupant of a room. If you need to enter FMC and do not have a mask, they are available at the main entry to FMC and at the student services counter on level 5.
COVID-19 information series
Flinders is this week hosting a series of mini lunchtime forums to provide insights and advice on matters of interest to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first session was today with Professor Jonathan Craig, discussing the nature of the virus, its reach and impact, treatment, and the latest in vaccine development. The recording will be available shortly on youtube, or on our Brave lecture page, where advice is also available on this week’s other sessions.
Tomorrow at 12pm we have Professor Danny Eckert talking to us on Improving health and well-being through the science of sleep (view session here), Wednesday Professor Mike Kyrios will be presenting on Everything you wanted to know about making it through a pandemic but were afraid to ask... (view session here at 1pm), and on Thursday Associate Professor Cassandra Star is presenting on Climate activism and the COVID moment: securing the green new deal and climate justice (view session here at 12pm).
Information and support
If you have any questions or concerns please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and please check the staff websites for regular updates.
I realise that the rapidly changing situation, particularly over the past week, may be a cause for concern or worry for members of our community. Please remember that the staff support network is available to you throughout this period.
Stay safe and look out for each other.