The ANU has announced that students who test positive for COVID-19 will no longer isolate in a secondary accommodation on campus. Instead, they will isolate in their halls. The change to the ANU’s longstanding policy comes after the university recorded 200 COVID-19 cases on campus over the weekend of the 19th and 20th of February.

As was the case in secondary isolation accommodation, meals will be delivered to those isolating in their own residences. In residences with communal bathrooms, specified bathrooms are being set aside for positive cases. If students require medical assistance during isolation, they will still be moved into alternate isolation facilities on campus. 

The University has stated they have changed this policy in order to “reduce disruption to their studies” and “minimise movement,” and well as to “keep residents connected to their community.” 

When asked about how this could affect the transmission of COVID-19, an ANU spokesperson shared that “We have processes and protocols in place to keep everyone safe while residents self-isolate. These are based on ACT Health guidelines.”

Though the ANU did not give an exact number of new COVID-19 cases, they commented that numbers have increased since the weekend. They instead direct students and staff to check the ACT daily case numbers. 

Positive COVID-19 cases in the ACT jumped up significantly today to 946 cases, compared to 583 cases yesterday.

The University’s spokesperson concluded that “This is now part of life for a campus the size of a small town in the midst of a pandemic – particularly as our young population returns and wider restrictions begin to lift.”