COVID-19 advice

Murdoch University is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 and following the latest advice by the Australian Government and the WA Health Department. The University has formed a dedicated team to coordinate our response to this evolving situation.

This page will be kept up to date with the latest advice and information.

 

Information for students

Everything you need to know about health, your studies and the support available to you.

Find out more

Information for staff

Guidance and information about your health, teaching and working off campus.

Find out more

Government resources

Australian Department of Health's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Information Line 1800 020 080

 

General information

  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy physical distance from others.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay informed.
 

Latest updates

Last reviewed: 06 April 2020

  • 06 April - Campus parking available to FSH health care workers

    Murdoch University is supporting health care workers by making two car parks at its Perth campus available to staff delivering frontline health care during the COVID-19 outbreak.

    A total of 960 bays in Car Park 1 and Car Park 7 were made available to staff from Fiona Stanley Hospital on Friday April 3, 2020.

    The University is a key part of the Murdoch Knowledge and Health precinct and we are pleased to support workers on the front line of the response to the pandemic.

    A recently announced reduction in public transport services means that the bays are needed by critical staff health staff now more than ever. It also minimises the need for frontline healthcare workers to share public transport services with members of the public. There will be no charge for the bays to Fiona Stanley Hospital staff and will give them greater choice about how they get to work during this challenging time.  

    FSH Parking will issue hospital staff with numbered Murdoch University permits to display on their vehicles.

  • 31 March - Student Support Packages

    31 March - Student support packages

    Last Friday 27 March, the University wrote to our domestic and international onshore students to announce the development of a Student Support Package that includes:

    • Access to a $2 million Student Assistance Fund for student’s ineligible for Commonwealth Government support.
    • University support for the Guild Food Bank.
    • An Essentials Bursary worth $25 per week to reduce food costs for international students.
    • Online learning support, including a Technology Bursary for all students and access to a limited supply of laptops.

    The University has also put in place an Academic Safety Net, which recognises the considerable disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. If a student fails any subject during this time, the failing grade will not be recorded on their transcript nor be included in their Grade Point Average.

    The Academic Safety Net will not change the application of appropriate academic standards and is intended to give students encouragement as they transition to a new study mode. The Student Support Package – the result of a highly successful collaboration with the Student Guild - has been very well received by students, and is in addition to a suite of comprehensive health and wellbeing supports already in place, now expanded and online to meet our current needs.

    The measures outlined above are just some of the ways the University is providing care and support to the communities we serve at this challenging time.

  • 26 March - Changes to campus deliveries and switchboard service

    With limited staff now on campus to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, the following operational changes will come into effect from Friday 27 March.

    All deliveries to Murdoch University must now go to the Mail Room located in Building 193.

    The Murdoch University switchboard service will continue to function with adjusted operating hours of Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

  • 25 March – Working from home arrangements

    The ramifications of the COVID-19 global pandemic on the University’s operations are constantly evolving which is having a considerable impact on all of our campus operations.

    These are the latest measures put in place to help in the efforts to contain COVID-19. These measures will continue to be reviewed to ensure they are appropriate and effective, based on Government advice, as the situation continues to evolve.

    Working from Home

    All Murdoch staff that have the arrangements in place to work from home will be able to from COB Thursday 26 March.

    Arrangements for Essential Campus Based Activities

    From COB Thursday 26 March, until further notice, only essential staff supporting critical University functions who cannot undertake such work from home will remain on campus. This includes staff involved in:

    • Student accommodation and essential student support
    • Developing and/or implementing alternate arrangements to critical teaching labs and practicals
    • Preparation to deliver virtual lectures and tutorials for online learning that requires university facilities
    • Critical health, safety and security services
    • Critical finance functions (include supplier payment processing and financial delegation management)
    • Essential medical support via Murdoch University Health: Medical Service
    • Campus maintenance, asset and utilities management
    • Delivery of core IT services, system, incident management and application support
    • Delivery of essential services at The Animal Hospital Murdoch University.

    Senior leaders will maintain a presence on campus throughout this period on a rotational basis or as needed.

    For those who need to attend campus, please be assured your safety is of paramount importance to us. 

    To support this Murdoch University is ensuring:

    • Normal Helpdesk and Security presence will be maintained
    • All buildings will be accessible by swipe card access only
    • Cleaning to areas being used will be maintained and continue to be enhanced as required
    • Staff will be offered alternate workspaces to ensure and maintain physical distancing
    • Food and coffee outlets on campus are operational for as long as possible

    Campus operations

    The following services and facilities will remain open after COB Thursday 15 March, under limited campus operations. As the situation evolves Murdoch University will continue to re-assess operations.

    • Student accommodation
    • Essential student support services
    • The Animal Hospital at Murdoch University (essential services only)
    • The IGA and food outlets providing takeaway food
    • The library, with stringent physical distancing and infection control measures in place
    • Some research labs, as approved by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Research
    • Specific computer labs, which will be subject to stringent cleaning. Rooms will be rearranged to ensure appropriate physical distancing and gloves made available to students. Further details on affected labs will be provided at a later date.

    Every decision that has been made is in consideration of what is best for the Murdoch University community.

    Murdoch University is doing all possible to protect the health and wellbeing of its valued staff and students, while continuing to deliver high quality teaching and critical research.

  • 25 March – Changes to exam arrangements

    In order to protect the health of staff and students and to limit the possible spread of COVID-19 a decision has been made to cancel face-to-face exams for Semester One and Trimester One for students studying on those timetables. This decision will affect most students.

    For those who would normally have had exams, they will still be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. Engaging with an alternative assessment plan will in no way impact one’s ability to successfully complete their studies at Murdoch.

    The high academic standards delivered at Murdoch University remain unchanged under these revised, temporary arrangements.

    For units that would have had centrally scheduled exams, Unit Coordinators are working through alternative assessment plans. As decisions are finalised and approved, Unit Coordinators will release this information to students.

    Students will not be disadvantaged by any changes made to unit assessment plans.

    Work integrated learning arrangements

    Detailed conversations with employers and professional associations are currently underway to understand the impact on planned placements and to find creative solutions wherever needed and possible.

    If a placement is affected, or becomes affected by evolving COVID-19 containment measures Murdoch University will contact students directly.

    Murdoch is making every effort to enable students to be able to continue to be successful in their studies, even though many other aspects of life are being disrupted. We are currently working to put a student support and engagement package in place that will enable students to stay connected at this time, with activities to promote mental and physical wellbeing.

    While these are uncertain times, our commitment to provide a high-quality education experience remains unchanged. The delivery and form of assessment may be different but what students learn during this period will allow them to succeed well beyond the grounds of University campuses and the current challenges faced by all.

  • 23 March – Further changes to Murdoch operations

    The Australian Government has announced further significant changes that will have a major impact on the way we operate as a University.

    It is in this constantly-evolving context that the following changes that will take effect at Murdoch as a result of the State and Federal Government’s latest advice, as well as some decisions the University’s Senior Executive Group has taken to keep our community safe.

    Throughout this global pandemic, decisions are being made on the advice of the State and Federal Governments, including expert health officials. We are continuing to work with colleagues across the University on a range of contingency plans that will allow Murdoch University to adapt as the situation evolves.

    Campus facilities

    • The University remains open based on the advice of State and Federal Governments.
    • The Murdoch University Library will continue to open for the time being, with enhanced hygiene measures and physical distancing protocols.
    • The University is working to ensure computer labs remain open for students who do not have access to the equipment they need to support their studies. It is essential students and staff using these areas observe the appropriate distancing measures and hygiene measures outlined by the Australian Government.
    • Murdoch University specialist public health clinics, including the Chiropractic Clinic, and Sports and Exercise Science Clinic will close at 5pm Tuesday March 24 until further notice. Murdoch Psychology Clinic and Caladenia Counselling Clinic will maintain their current service via tele-health but will not accept new clients.
    • We are awaiting advice from the Australian Veterinary Association regarding The Animal Hospital, noting that we hope we will be able to continue to provide emergency care to the general community for as long as possible.
    • Murdoch University Health’s Medical and Counselling services will remain open with a mixture of face to face appointments and tele-health services for the University community.
    • The Zone Fitness Centre and all indoor and outdoor sporting facilities on campus closed at midday today until further notice, in accordance with Government advice.
    • Campus food venues including the Student Hub and Sir Walter’s Café remain open, but only serve takeaway food from today.
    • The Tavern, operated by the Student Guild, will remain open and serve takeaway food only until Government advice changes.
    • UniSuper branches on campus are closed until further notice.
    • From COB Tuesday 31 March, all UniBank branches on campus will be closed until further notice.

    Research

    • Critical research is continuing, with physical distancing and hygiene measures are put in place.

    Teaching and Learning

    • Murdoch University is working on arrangements to transition to online lectures and tutorials from Monday April 6.
    • The majority of face-to-face laboratories and practicals will cease on this date, unless otherwise directed by government. We are looking at a number of alternative methods of delivery, as well as the possibility of rescheduling them to later in the year.

    Further frequently asked questions are below for more general information.

  • 18 March – Move to online learning

    In response to growing global concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the University is implementing a number of new measures to enable us to effectively engage students in learning.

    Murdoch’s focus continues to be the health and safety of students and staff, the delivery of learning and teaching, and critical research.

    After careful consideration, including liaising with the Student Guild, the University has decided that:

    • The planned study break due to commence Monday, March 23 will be extended by one week to allow the University to prepare for a transition to more online learning. Therefore, the Semester One break will now run from Monday, March 23 until Friday, April 3 inclusive.
    • In order to ensure continuity of student learning, the study break planned for Week 15 in June will become a normal teaching week.
    • As large-scale end-of-semester examinations are likely to be affected, Murdoch University will use the upcoming two-week study break to review its approach and implement alternative assessment protocols.
    • Throughout this period, or unless the government advises otherwise, the University will remain open for students who require on-campus services. Computer labs will remain accessible and the library will remain open, however appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures will be implemented.
    • On the completion of this extended study break, from Monday, April 6, the University will resume with online-only learning and teaching for lectures and tutorials for the remainder of Semester One.
    • Alternative plans for units that have labs, clinics, studios and other face-to-face requirements that are difficult to replicate online are being reviewed.
    • The Easter Break (Week 8, commencing Monday April 13) will take place as usual.

    The changes outlined above only apply to units taught in the Semester 1 teaching period. Units in other teaching periods (such as trimester 1 units and Semester 1 nursing) will continue as normal, while adhering to health advice and social distancing protocols.

    These decisions have not been made lightly and may change further in line with government advice. They have also been designed to minimise disruption to students and help them stay on track with their studies.

    While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to Murdoch University, the decision to extend the study break and move to online learning where possible is a precautionary measure to limit contact during this phase of the pandemic and minimise the risk of community transmission of the virus.

    The following frequently asked questions provide further information for staff and students. These FAQs will be updated as new information becomes available.

  • 16 March – Updated response to COVID-19

    On Monday 16 March, Murdoch University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Eeva Leinonen announced several important decisions regarding the University’s management of issues related to COVID-19:

    • Staff who are directly affected by COVID-19 (that is, staff who are required to self-isolate, have primary caring responsibilities, are classified as ‘at risk’) will be entitled to access up to 10 Working Days of Special Paid Leave (pro-rata). This arrangement includes casual staff and will be made available until the end of July, when the situation is reviewed.
    • We have also endorsed temporary Working from Home guidelines to help leaders and staff implement alternative arrangements, should the need arise.
    • At the moment we are continuing to teach as normal. Should suspension of University activities be required, we will aim to do this with minimal disruption to the current timetable.
    • The President of Academic Council has approved temporary amendments to the assessment policy to allow for more flexibility in relation to student attendance and participation.
    • All events have been cancelled until further notice.
 

Frequently asked questions

Health advice

  • What is COVID-19?

    Information about COVID-19, its symptoms and preventative measures that can be taken are available on the Federal Government’s Department of Health website.

  • Who is most at risk?

    From previous experience with other coronaviruses, people at most risk of serious infection are:

    • people with compromised immune systems (e.g. cancer)
    • elderly people
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions
    • very young children and babies*
    • people in group residential settings
    • people in detention facilities.

    * At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the broader population.

  • What if I have a friend or family member who is immunocompromised?

    Murdoch University strongly supports the wellbeing of our students and staff and recognises that we have a community that has diverse cultures, families and experiences. All of these are considered in our planning to make Murdoch a safe and supportive learning environment for all.

    In relation to COVID-19, we are closely following the advice of the Australian and Western Australian Health Departments in the appropriate management of the current situation and have a high-level team taking a range of actions in line with this advice.

    Murdoch has plans in place should the University be exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 and any actions deemed necessary would be taken and communicated to all students and staff at that time.

    You are at no greater risk of exposure to the virus if you attend Murdoch University than if you were to attend any other public place such as a shopping centre or train station. With that in mind, it is up to you to determine what course of action you choose to take around your movements.

  • I am worried about my friends and family. Who can I talk to?

    If any students are concerned about a family member or loved one who has been informed by health authorities that they may have COVID-19 and you are feeling distressed or concerned and require support, please contact Murdoch University Counselling Service on 9360 1227. Medical questions can be directed to the Murdoch University Medical Service on 9360 7333. Service information, contact details and instructions on how to make an appointment are provided in the MurdochSafe app.

  • Where can I get more information?

    Information about COVID-19, its symptoms and preventative measures that can be taken are available on the Federal Government’s Department of Health website.

    COVID-19 advice specifically related to students is available on the myMurdoch student portal.

    COVID-19 advice specifically related to staff is available on the staff intranet.

Staying safe on campus

  • Are there any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Murdoch University?

    There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Murdoch University. However, the University has plans in place should this occur and any actions deemed necessary would be taken and communicated to all students and staff at that time.

  • Can I attend the University?

    The Federal Government has advised that students or staff cannot attend university if they fall within one of the following scenarios:

    • If you have arrived in Australia from overseas after 9:01pm AWST on Sunday 15 March / 12:01am AEDT on Monday 16 March, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
    • If you have arrived in Western Australia from interstate on or after 1.30pm AWST Tuesday 24 March, you must self-isolate for 14 days.
    • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days after last contact with the confirmed case.

    Murdoch University will continue to monitor and adjust these measures pending any changes to advice issued by the Federal and State Governments.

    As customary, we advise staff and students to stay away from campus, and seek medical help as required, if they feel unwell.

  • How has Murdoch’s on-campus hygiene support and facility cleaning practices changed to address COVID-19 concerns?

    In response to COVID-19, Murdoch University has enhanced its cleaning practices to further support good hygiene practice on campus including:

    • Increasing the cleaning frequency at high traffic bathrooms including Bush Court, the Library and ECL lecture theatres.
    • Implementing the use of ISO bactericidal wipes to clean high traffic hygienic spaces.
    • Continuing to use industry-grade sanitiser to wipe down all surfaces including classroom tables as part of our daily scheduled cleaning.
    • Performing daily checks to ensure hand dyer units work and that hand foams soap, paper towels and toilet paper is regularly stocked in bathrooms.
    • Installing touch-free hand sanitiser units at specific high traffic locations.
    • Placing posters in all bathrooms that encourage good hygienic practices.

    In addition to this, regular meetings are being held with all site cleaners to reiterate our strong focus on cleaning standards, practices and compliance, and how this aligns with on-campus safety. We would also like to reassure you all cleaning staff have completed training and assessments regarding influenza and pandemic cleaning practices.

    As always, cleaning staff are required to wear gloves at all times, and regularly use industry-grade hand sanitiser before, during and after their shift. Murdoch University will continue to review its cleaning services in accordance with the requirements and government guidelines for COVID-19.

 

Teaching and learning

  • What is happening to on campus lectures and tutorials?

    From Monday 6 April, the University will move to online learning and teaching only for lectures and tutorials for the remainder of the Semester One teaching period.

    Tutorial activities will occur online in a range of ways that best meet your learning needs and this will be decided by each unit coordinator. Students are encouraged to check in to your unit pages on myMurdoch Learning (LMS), look out for unit specific messages and actively participate in the learning experiences that have been planned for you.

    If you are a nursing student or study in a trimester pattern, your learning will continue as normal for the time being observing physical distancing protocols and health advice. We encourage you to speak with your unit coordinator if you have questions.

  • What should I do if I cannot return to Murdoch University to resume or commence my studies because of COVID-19?

    You should contact us immediately at ncvsupport@murdoch.edu.au

  • Will online teaching and learning change timetables?

    There are no changes to student timetables for the rest of the semester. However, all on-campus lectures and classes will be recorded and delivered online from Monday 6 April to encourage physical distancing on campus. Online lectures and classes will occur at the same time as timetabled.

  • Will the University extend the semester end date to accommodate for the extended study leave?

    Yes. The semester will be pushed back by a week to allow for the two-week study break commencing Monday 23 March.

    Please see the adjusted academic calendar below:

    Semester 1 2020 (S1) Week commences Adjusted academic calendar
    Week 4 16 March

    All classes will continue as normal.

    We encourage you to view lectures online.

    We have waived the requirement for on-campus attendance and participation as a condition to pass a unit.

    Week 5 23 March Break week
    Week 6 30 March Break week
    Week 7 6 April

    Move to online learning for all lectures and tutorials.

    Delivery of labs, clinics, and other classes to be advised.

    Week 8 13 April Break week (as scheduled)
    Week 9 20 April

    Online learning for all lectures and tutorials.

    Delivery of labs, clinics, and other classes to be advised.

    Week 10 27 April
    Week 11 4 May
    Week 12 11 May
    Week 13 18 May
    Week 14 25 May
    Week 15 1 June

    No break week.

    Online learning for all lectures and tutorials.

    Delivery of labs, clinics, and other classes to be advised.

    Week 16 8 June Exam delivery to be announced.
  • What arrangements have been put in place around student attendance marks?

    We are waiving the requirement for on campus attendance and participation as a condition to pass a unit.

    From Monday 6 April, the University will move to online learning and teaching only for lectures and tutorials for the remainder of the semester one teaching period. Students will be able to access lectures online as these will be recorded.

Murdoch operations

  • What is Murdoch University doing about COVID-19?

    We have been monitoring the situation closely and following the latest advice issued by the Federal Government. Given the situation is changing regularly, Murdoch’s senior staff will coordinate the University’s response on a continuing basis.

    The University’s dedicated team will continue to implement and review necessary actions for student and staff support, campus health and safety, academic continuity and contingency planning in accordance with the Australian and Western Australian Government’s public health response plans, and communicate updates to our university community accordingly.

    Information relevant to Murdoch University staff and students is available on this page, via the myMurdoch student portal and on the staff intranet.

    If staff require support, they should talk to their manager. If you are concerned about a family member or loved one who has been informed by health authorities that they may have COVID-19 and you are feeling distressed or concerned, you should contact Murdoch’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider.

    Students should contact Murdoch University Counselling Service on 9360 1227. Medical questions can be directed to the Murdoch University Medical Service on 9360 7333. Service information, contact details and instructions on how to make an appointment are provided in the MurdochSafe app.

  • Which on-campus facilities are still operating?

    As at 23 March, the University remains open based on the advice of State and Federal Governments.

    It is our intention to keep the University Library open for as long as we can, with enhanced hygiene measures and physical distancing measures continue to be enforced. Computer labs remain open for students who do not have access to the equipment they need to support their studies with appropriate distancing measures and hygiene measures in place.

    Murdoch University Health’s Medical and Counselling services will remain open with a mixture of face to face appointments and tele-health services for the University community. The Caladenia Counselling clinic will maintain current services via tele-health but will not be accepting any new clients at this stage. Following advice from the Federal Government and Australian Veterinary Association, the Animal Hospital will continue to provide ‘urgent and emergent’ operations only. These are classified as animal welfare services that if not performed will result in significant suffering to the animal either immediately or within the foreseeable future.

    Campus food venues including the Student Hub and Sir Walter’s Café remain open, but only serve takeaway food from today. The Tavern, operated by the Student Guild, will remain open and serve takeaways only until Government advice changes.

    Access to Murdoch's Whitby Falls Farm will be restricted until further notice. The gates at the entrance to the property that are normally open on Monday to Friday from 7.00AM to 5.30PM will be locked. To access the farm, please email the Farm Supervisor ahead of your visit.

  • Why is the University cancelling events?

    Murdoch University is cancelling all events until further notice to minimise the risk of the transmission of COVID-19.

    From Monday 6 April, all lectures and tutorials will be online and you will not attend the University for them.

    We will continue to monitor the guidance of the Australian Government as the situation evolves.

  • Which on-campus facilities are closed?
    Murdoch University specialist public health clinics, including the Chiropractic Clinic, and Sports and Exercise Science Clinic will close at 5pm Tuesday March 24 until further notice.

    The Zone Fitness Centre and all indoor and outdoor sporting facilities closed at 12pm AWST 23 March.

    UniSuper branches on campus are closed until further notice.

    From COB Tuesday 31 March, all UniBank branches on campus will be closed until further notice.
  • What do I do if I am a tenant, contractor or visitor who needs to visit Murdoch University for work?

    The Federal Government has advised that students or staff cannot attend university if they fall within one of the following scenarios:

    • If you have arrived in Australia from overseas after 9:01pm AWST on Sunday 15 March / 12:01am AEDT on Monday 16 March, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
    • If you have arrived in Western Australia from interstate on or after 1.30pm AWST Tuesday 24 March, you must self-isolate for 14 days.
    • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days after last contact with the confirmed case.

    Murdoch University is also asking all of our tenants and contractors to:

    • confirm the recent travel history of all of your staff who work at any Murdoch University campus or facility
    • advise the University immediately upon becoming aware of any tenant, staff member, contractor or visitor to your business falls within the scenarios requiring isolation (specified above)
    • be alert to the symptoms which include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath
    • help prevent the spread of the virus by practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene.

    Murdoch University will continue to monitor and adjust these measures pending any changes to advice issued by the Federal and State Governments.

  • Will the University close because of COVID-19?

    Murdoch University is constantly monitoring the Australian Government’s direction and will continue to adhere to State and Federal advice on what disease protection measures are required.

    Decisions to close educational facilities in Western Australia in response to COVID-19 are the responsibility of the WA Government, and will only be made if and when necessary.

    These decisions will be made based on an assessment of the risk of spread of infection, as well as the severity of the illness. To minimise social, community and economic impacts, decisions on closures will be periodically reviewed with the aim to reopen facilities as soon as possible.

    At Murdoch, we will always consider the health, safety and wellbeing of our community when decisions are being made. Any changes to campus life as a result of COVID-19 will also be communicated immediately to our staff and students.

  • What should I do if I am a staff member required to self-isolate?

    If required, where an employee’s role permits and they are well enough, it is expected that arrangements will be made for working from home/other locations in the first instance.

    Staff who are directly affected by COVID-19 (e.g. are required to self-isolate, have primary caring responsibilities, are classified as “at risk”) will be entitled to access up to 10 Working Days of Special Paid Leave (pro-rata). This includes casual staff.

    If staff choose to travel despite advice from the Australian Government, they will not be entitled to access the 10 days of Special Paid Leave. In this instance, they will need to use their own leave accrual to undertake self-isolation requirements.

    This arrangement will be made available until the end of July, at which point Murdoch University will review the situation.