Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt has specified in an email to University staff that classes will be returning to in-person delivery in 2022, and that students who are able to attend in-person classes are expected to do so. Moreover, there will be some courses with virtual options and other classes operating in a hybrid mode. Although in-person classes will be the standard form of teaching, course convenors have developed contingency plans to respond to potential outbreaks.
In an email sent to all ANU staff, Schmidt revealed that the University has been working “since before Christmas” to source Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and P2/N25 masks. The University plans to provide students and staff with these masks and RATs as part of a semester one starter pack by mid-February. Distribution will occur on campus in Acton and at interstate satellite sites. Specific delivery and distribution dates will be confirmed by the University in the next few weeks.
There is a potential plan to implement a vaccine mandate on campus. Some students have received an email with a survey questioning whether or not the University should introduce a community wide mandate for everyone who visits campus to be fully vaccinated. The Vice-Chancellor’s email to staff mirrors this sentiment, stating that “[a]t presents, [the University] require[s] … people to be vaccinated in specific University settings, including where required by ACT Health.”
Moreover, the University will implement a plan to improve ventilation across campus buildings. The first phase in semester one will focus on teaching spaces, with the second phase in semester two focussing on high density buildings like libraries and office spaces.
Furthermore, Schmidt’s email to University staff also clarified that employees should communicate with their supervisors on how their team will return to working on campus in February. Staff must also complete a COVID-19 notification form and inform their supervisor should they test positive.
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