COVID-19

Remember to check in using the QR codes when on campus.
Last Updated

14 Jan 2022 at 9:19am

This page outlines information about impacts to your study experience due to COVID-19. Information here will be regularly updated.

Charles Sturt University will return to on-campus learning in 2022. We are excited to welcome back students and staff and we look forward to meeting new students starting their study journey.

Our top priority is the health and wellbeing of our people. As part of our return to campus plan, and after careful consideration of government advice and feedback from our COVID-19 vaccination survey, Charles Sturt University has taken the position to require students, staff and visitors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a TGA-approved vaccine before attending Charles Sturt sites from 1 January 2022. This includes access to all spaces including buildings, outdoor spaces, vehicles, residences and clinics. In addition, this will apply to visitors attending events or tours.

More about your vaccination status

Fill in your vaccination details form

We invite you to view the FAQs below for more information about what our return to campus advice and requirements may mean for you.

Vaccinations

In line with government health advice, we strongly encourage all students to get their COVID-19 vaccination as soon as they become eligible. This is particularly important for any student who undertakes Workplace Learning (WPL) in the community as a part of their course requirements.

Find out more

Campus advice

All ongoing updates regarding on-campus activity will be communicated to you personally and updated here.

  • Return to campus plan

    Charles Sturt University will return to on-campus learning in 2022. We are excited to welcome back students and staff and we look forward to meeting new students starting their study journey.

    Our top priority is the health and wellbeing of our people. As part of our return to campus plan, and after careful consideration of government advice and feedback from our COVID-19 vaccination survey, Charles Sturt University has taken the position to require students, staff and visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least two doses of a TGA-approved vaccine before attending campus grounds from 1 January 2022. This includes access to all campus spaces including buildings, outdoor spaces, vehicles, residences and clinics. In addition, this will apply to visitors attending on-campus events or tours.

  • What to do when on campus

    When on campus:

    • Check in using the QR codes provided
    • Ensure you can provide proof of your vaccination status if you are asked to do so.
    • Stay COVID-safe by maintaining physical distancing, good hygiene practices and complying with rules in close proximity areas and shared spaces, including residences.
    • Pack a face mask and wear it in all indoor settings.

    Do not attend campus if you are unwell. You should follow all NSW Health advice in relation to self-isolation and testing.

  • Face masks

    Face masks are required in all indoor settings. For more information about masks please visit the NSW Government website.

  • Student Central, learning commons, food outlets and fitness

    Student Central

    Student Central front counters are open. View our opening times.

    Learning Commons/Library:

    Yes, the libraries and learning commons are open 24/7 for you! Our Charles Sturt library staff are ready to help you get back into study wherever you are. View our service times and contact options.

    Food and drink:

    Food and drink outlets are open. View individual campus and outlet details.

    Fitness:

    Gyms at Bathurst and Wagga are open. The outdoor pool at Wagga will be open in 2022. In line with Government requirements, users will still be be required to sign-in via QR codes prior to using the spaces, and provide proof of full vaccination to use these facilities. Fitness rooms can be accessed Monday - Friday only by calling security. Proof of vaccination will need to be presented to security. View our fitness and sporting facilities page for more information.

  • On-campus accommodation

    We are accepting bookings for accommodation. You can book accommodation online.

    Please note from 1 January 2022, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to live in or visit our residences on campus.

  • Residential schools and workplace learning

    Residential schools

    Please visit the residential schools web page for updates and advice.

    Workplace learning

    Please visit the workplace learning web page for updates and advice.

  • Do I need to fill in a health declaration?

    From 1 January 2022, there is no need to submit a Health Declaration prior to attending campus unless directed by NSW Health. Charles Sturt will advise on any changes to this requirement.

  • Is on-campus attendance mandatory?

    Classes will resume as timetabled for Session 1 2022. Mandatory attendance is dependant on the type of class that is being undertaken.

    For more information, please contact your Subject Coordinator.

Vaccination requirements

From 1 January 2022, all staff, students and visitors must be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus.

  • Do I have to be vaccinated to return to campus and/or attend class?

    Yes. From 1 January 2022, all staff, students and visitors must be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus.

    This includes for access to all campus spaces including buildings, outdoor spaces, vehicles, residences and clinics. In addition, this will apply to visitors attending on-campus events or tours.

  • What happens if I choose not to be vaccinated?

    Refusal to provide proof of vaccination status will result in you not being able to attend a Charles Sturt campus. If there is a component of your course that must be completed on campus, this may result in you being unable to complete your studies.

    If you are unable to attend campus, there will be no additional exceptional online learning provided.

  • I want to lodge a formal complaint about being forced to vaccinate to continue access to campus and my degree. How do I do that?

    Student Central can discuss your concerns with you.

    If you are still not satisfied you can find more details around making a complaint. You can lodge a formal complaint via the Office of Governance and Corporate Affairs by phoning 1800 664 235 or via our online reporting system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • What if I have a medical exemption from being vaccinated?

    If you have a medical exemption this needs to be notified to the university when you complete your vaccination status form prior to attending campus. You must be able to provide a COVID-19 Vaccine Medical Contraindication form completed by your doctor.

  • Why are you requiring people to be vaccinated to attend campus?

    The university has a primary duty of care to provide a safe environment for staff, students, contractors and visitors and to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on our campuses. While vaccination does not guarantee a person will not contract COVID, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) states that “Vaccination remains the best way to protect against severe illness and death from COVID-19 and is a core element of the pandemic response”.

  • How are you verifying the vaccination status of everyone on campus if students don't need to upload a digital copy or the medical exemption?

    The university will conduct respectful spot checks in the coming weeks and months to ensure anyone attending campus has evidence of vaccination or medical exemption in a similar way to what happens at public venues that still require vaccination. The expectation is that proof will be provided if asked.

    Providing false or misleading information may be investigated as an allegation of misconduct pursuant to the Student Misconduct Rule 2020.

  • How will my vaccination information be used and who will have access to it?

    At all times, the personal information that you provide to Charles Sturt University will be treated in accordance with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) and Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW), and the University’s Privacy Management Plan.

    Please read this Privacy Notice for more information about COVID-19 vaccinations and your privacy, including how and and why the University collects your personal and health information, how we manage that information, and your rights to access and/or correct that information.

  • What is the process for international students?

    International students will not be permitted into Australia without evidence being fully vaccinated with a TGA approved vaccine. Any current or potential international students currently residing in Australia will need to be fully vaccinated like staff, students and visitors prior to physically attending the university.

  • Do I need to be vaccinated to live in on campus accommodation?

    Yes. Our residences are considered campus facilities. From 1 January 2022, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to live in or visit our residences on campus.

  • What if I have only had one vaccination by January 1?

    If you have not been fully vaccinated and do not have a valid medical exemption, you are not permitted to attend a Charles Sturt University campus. If you need to come onto campus for your studies, please contact Student Central to discuss your options.

  • When do I need to complete the vaccination status form by? What happens if I don't?

    We strongly recommend you complete the form as soon as possible, as it is a requirement for physically attending our campuses.

    If you are not attending campus (for example, you study entirely online), there is no requirement to complete the form at this time (as at 1 January 2022).

  • What do I do if my study is affected by the vaccination requirements?

    In the first instance, contact Student Central to discuss your individual circumstances and options.

  • I will not get vaccinated. Can I graduate with a lower award instead?

    Depending on your course and the subjects you have already completed, you may be able to graduate with a lower award. This is not possible in all courses and you will need to have satisfied the subject requirements of the lower award.

    Check the Knowledgebase for more information about how to check if you're eligible, how to apply and deadlines.

  • Where on campus do these rules apply?

    Charles Sturt's COVID-19 measures apply in all campus spaces, including buildings, outdoor spaces, residences, vehicles and clinics.

    You must follow the rules for each space you enter at

    • Albury-Wodonga
    • Bathurst
    • Canberra (Brisbane Avenue)
    • Dubbo
    • Goulburn
    • Orange
    • Port Macquarie
    • Wagga Wagga
    • Wangaratta
  • What arrangements will be in place for other locations?

    Canberra (St Mark’s National Theological Centre, Blackall Street)

    As of 10 November 2021 the St Mark’s Novel Coronavirus Response Plan does not require vaccination for entry onto the premises.

    Goulburn

    The NSW Police Force has advised the university that vaccination is required for entry onto their premises.

    North Parramatta (United Theological College, Masons Drive)

    As of 12 November 2021, there is no indication as to whether vaccination may be required to attend this site.

    Wangaratta

    'GOTAFE' has advised the university that vaccination is required for entry to Wangaratta Regional Study Centre.

    Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne Study Centres

    As of 10 November 2021, the Centres are closed and there is no indication at this stage as to whether vaccination may be required on re-opening.

  • Will all staff on campus be vaccinated?

    Yes. From 1 January 2022, all staff, students and visitors must be fully vaccinated before returning to campus. This includes for access to all campus spaces including buildings, outdoor spaces, vehicles, residences and clinics. In addition, this will apply to visitors attending on-campus events or tours.

  • When and how do I prove my vaccination status?

    Students are required to provide their vaccination status via the Student Portal prior to attending campus. If you have an exemption, you must be able to provide a COVID-19 Vaccine Medical Contraindication form completed by your doctor.

    You must also carry proof of your vaccination status with you at all times whilst attending campus, on placement or on university business and be prepared to produce this if asked by university staff or campus security.

    If you have workplace learning, there are additional requirements. View the WPL vaccination requirements.

  • I am unvaccinated, where do I go for support?

    We recommend you contact your primary health provider for advice and support in the first instance.

    You can also access a range of Charles Sturt wellbeing services and information, or seek further advice from NSW Health.

  • Do I need to be vaccinated to attend campus when everything opens for people who are not vaccinated?

    Yes. From 1 January 2022, all staff, students and visitors must be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus. This includes for access to all campus spaces including buildings, outdoor spaces, vehicles, residences and clinics. In addition, this will apply to visitors attending on-campus events or tours.

    The university will monitor government advice and public health requirements. This decision and associated arrangements will be reviewed in June 2022 or as otherwise required in response to evolving circumstances.

  • Which vaccines are approved by the TGA?

    The list of recognised and registered vaccines continues to evolve. Vaccines registered in Australia by the TGA as of 27 October 2021 are:

    • Moderna (Spikevax)
    • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
    • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria)
    • Pfizer (Comirnaty)

    The vaccines not registered in Australia but are recognised by the TGA as of 22 October 2021 are:

    • Coronavac (Sinovac)
    • Covishield (AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India).

    The university will not accept evidence of medicines or vaccines not approved by the TGA for the prevention of COVID-19.

  • Would a student studying online only with no requirements to go to campus be required to be double vaccinated?

    Full vaccination is required if you want to attend one of our campuses in person. If you do not need to attend one of our campuses whilst this is a requirement, we do not require you to be vaccinated to continue studying online at this time (as at 1 January 2022).

Campus statuses

We have developed three alert levels to assist with planning campus-level responses to local circumstances. Further information on each level is listed below. (Note these are Charles Sturt nominated levels)

  • Alert Level 1: Low local COVID-19 transmission (low numbers in general)

    General things to do at all stages

    General

    • Review campus alert levels daily
    • Encourage fellow students to follow COVIDSafe practices
    • Stay up-to-date with prevalence of local cases
    • Look after your own health and wellbeing

    Minimise transmission

    • Practice physical distancing and avoid crowds (>1.5m and 1 person / 4 m2)
    • Practice hand and respiratory hygiene
    • Manage personal health
    • Self-isolate if required by government advice

    Support contact tracing

    • Download the COVIDSafe app
    • Check into buildings with QR codes

    Follow NSW Health and Government advice

    • Monitor your health and get tested even if you have mild symptoms
    • Stay at home if you have symptoms and while waiting for test results
    • Symptoms include:
      • Fever
      • Coughing
      • Sore throat
      • Shortness of breath

    Alert level 1 campus actions

    General

    • Students and staff attend campus
    • Student Residences are open where physical distancing can be achieved
    • Food and beverage facilities open (with physical distancing)
    • Learning Commons and Library are open including for community borrowers – check website for hours
    • Indigenous Student Centres are accessible for study
    • Know what to do if someone on campus appears unwell or tests positive
    • Plan for possible shift to reduced or online services

    Increase Hygiene

    • We will increase cleaning of surfaces, touch points and equipment
    • We will reduce touch points, e.g. doors chocked open to prevent multiple touching of door handles
    • Sanitiser is supplied at entrance to facilities

    Minimise transmission

    • Avoid the use of ‘hot-desk’ spaces
    • Use cashless payments on campus
    • Adhere to the room capacity numbers displayed
    • Travel is permitted subject to physical distancing recommendations
    • Events are permitted subject to event registration processes
    • Face Masks: Only for previously assessed high risk activities involving exposure to respiratory aerosols and hand to face contact. Discretionary in other circumstances

    Alert level 1 teaching and research actions

    General

    • Teaching and research will be on-campus with access to online content and resources where possible
    • Workplace learning placements will be reviewed for areas of concern for COVID
    • No workplace learning to frontline roles with potential COVID exposure
    • Students who do not comply with University directions may be excluded

    Increase hygiene

    • Students and staff advised to wash their hands (soap and water) when entering and exiting facilities
    • Non-disposable equipment will be cleaned before and after use with a suitable disinfectant (available in class)

    Minimise transmission

    • Physical distancing in teaching areas is preferred, but reliance on university exemption is permissible
    • Floors, work areas marked to identify physical distancing
    • Learning and research activities redesigned to limit close proximity or crowding
    • Face Masks: Only for previously assessed high risk activities involving exposure to respiratory aerosols and hand to face contact
    • Complete health declarations for intensives and some teaching activities. Students to present these to subject coordinators
    • Minimise personal belongings in class. Only items required for activity e.g. book and pen
    • Store personal belongings safely outside facility
  • Alert Level 2: Some local COVID-19 cases (and/or increasing risk of transmission)

    Extra actions for this scenario

    All of the actions for Alert level 1, plus:

    • Prepare yourself for a possible increase in cases in your community
    • Develop a social bubble outside uni/work and limit interactions outside your bubble
    • Change or avoid non-essential activities where you are exposed to people outside your bubble
    • Change or avoid activities shown to have increased risk (indoor activities, singing, planned holidays or travel)
    • Change some of your activities to reduce your interactions (such as online shopping or online banking)
    • Avoid public transport to and from campus
    • Exclude any person who is unwell or has symptoms
    • Prepare for exclusive online learning

    Alert level 2 campus actions

    All of the actions above, plus:

    • Attend campus with care
    • Student residences remain open but the uni may review acceptance of students from at-risk areas
    • Student Central, Learning Commons and Library open for staff and students only, face-to-face services likely to reduce or cease – check website for hours
    • First Nations Student Centres remain accessible for study

    Minimise transmission

    • Avoid bringing visitors to campus
    • In the absence of government advice, only essential travel at 50% of vehicle capacity
    • Events minimised to be consistent with internal use of campuses and facilities. Events subject to Event Registration requirements
    • Face Masks: In the absence of government advice, only for previously assessed high risk activities involving exposure to respiratory aerosols and hand to face contact and where physical distancing cannot be achieved.

    Alert level 2 teaching and research actions

    All of the above, plus:

    General

    • Classes and research may shift to online where face-to-face is not required
    • Alternative learning and data collection may be facilitated for affected students and activities
    • Special consideration available for students
    • COVID safety plans in place for teaching environments
    • Further minimise contact activities during class
    • Arrival times will be staggered to avoid gatherings of people waiting to enter rooms
    • Break times will be staggered to minimise the number of staff and students using common areas at the same time

    Increase hygiene

    • We will supervise hand hygiene using hand sanitiser or soap and water
    • We will increase frequency of in-class hand cleaning

    Minimise transmission

    • In the absence of government advice; restrict the need for participants to come to campus from COVID-19 areas of concern
    • In the absence of government advice; exclude students and visitors who left areas of concern less than 14 days ago and have not completed self isolation
    • Face Masks: If you are teaching, you can remove your mask where clear enunciation or visibility of your mouth is essential. Please ensure all students are wearing their masks and maintain physical distancing.
    • Maintain contact bubble for practical classes, e.g. students to stay with the same workgroup or partner.
    • Avoid circulation of students between bubbles and limit person to person contact
  • Alert Level 3: Significant local COVID-19 transmission (recognised area of risk)

    Extra actions for this scenario

    All of the actions for Alert levels 1 and 2, plus:

    • Stay at home except for essential activities

    Alert level 3 campus actions

    All of the actions above, plus:

    • Only 'essential' on-campus activities to occur
    • Student services provided in online mode only
    • Only essential access to Learning Commons or Library
    • Likely close of food and beverage services

    Minimise transmission

    • No travel is the norm.

    Alert level 3 teaching and research actions

    All of the above, plus:

    General

    • Only essential on-campus classes and research to occur if unable to be delayed – Deans to review and approve
    • In the absence of Government advice, require a negative test result if returning to campus for any learning or teaching activity
    • Comprehensive COVID safety planning required for any on campus teaching. Plans to address all elements of NSW Health COVID Safety Plans
    • Plan for cancellation of all workplace learning

    Increase hygiene

    • Face masks required for all learning and teaching activities

    Minimise transmission

    • In the absence of government advice; exclude students and visitors who left areas of concern less than 14 days ago and have not provided a negative test result
    • Lock in the bubbles: If persons leave the region then an additional 14 days period of isolation required prior to return
    • Follow NSW Health advice for Universities

Support for students

We are responding to COVID-19 as the situation evolves. As part of this, we continue to offer a range of support services to students.

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Travel advice

Students should continue to follow travel advice issued by government authorities in the first instance. Please note we are unable to support self-isolation requirements in our on campus accommodation.

  • Interstate and intrastate travel

    Please check the latest government advice on state and territory border closures due to COVID-19 as these may affect your ability to attend classes, residential schools, intensive catch-up blocks, workplace learning, or access facilities on campus.

    You will need to comply with NSW Health’s travel and transport guidance before attending campus. For information regarding your specific circumstances please visit Service NSW or phone 13 77 88.

    If you are not able to attend your classes, residential school or intensive catch-up teaching block, or if you choose not to attend as a result of government travel restrictions, you should contact your Subject Coordinator or Workplace Learning team. Checking your Interact2 subject site for updates may also be helpful.

    If you have an accommodation booking and need to cancel due to a border closure, you will not be charged.

    More general advice for travelling (international and interstate) is available from the Australian Government COVID-19 advice for travelling.

Health advice

Students should continue to follow public health orders and government advice regarding health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Government information and public health orders
  • What COVID-safe measures are in place on campus?

    Vaccination is one method of minimising, but not eliminating, the risk of COVID-19 infection. The university will continue to monitor health advice, implement other control measures, and adjust safety practices as appropriate and in line with Government health advice. As vaccination rates increase, current control measures may change so we will need to be flexible in following government guidelines and health orders.

    Our principles for remaining COVID safe are:

    • Always check in and out
    • Stay home if you’re unwell
    • Follow NSW Health advice in relation to self-isolation and testing
    • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often and well.
    • Wear a face mask in all indoor settings
    • Maintain clean and tidy workspaces and shared areas through frequent cleaning.
  • COVID-19 exposure and testing

    Do I need to get a COVID-19 test before I attend campus?

    From 1 January 2022, you will not be required to get tested before attending campus. The exception to this is if you have been, or may have been, exposed to COVID-19 or are directed to get tested by NSW Health. Find out more.

    If you have been exposed to COVID-19

    If you have been in contact with someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, please follow NSW Health guidelines and get tested. If you are staying on campus, inform Residence Life. If you receive a positive test result, you need to report it via Protecht and must not attend campus until you have followed NSW Health's process for managing positive test results.

    Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT)

    Most people can now use a rapid antigen test (RAT) result to confirm they are positive for COVID-19. This includes people with symptoms, people who live with someone who has COVID-19, and people who have spent a long time with, or interacted closely with someone who has COVID-19. Find out more about getting tested.

  • What happens if there is an outbreak on campus?

    In the event of an outbreak on campus, Charles Sturt University will continue to work closely with NSW Health.

    We may close affected buildings and facilities immediately if we are notified of a confirmed case, conduct deep cleaning and provide NSW Health with any information to assist their contact tracing.

    Students at affected locations will receive further information. CSU Safe may also be used to provide urgent or after-hours updates.

FAQs

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