New COVID Restrictions at Residential Halls

As the ACT enters lockdown, residential halls at ANU have tightened their restrictions, in line with the University’s Covid-19 Protocol for Residential Facilities. Four COVID-19 cases have been detected today, with exposure sites across Canberra. 

Currently, 8 ANU residential facilities have close contacts, meaning almost everyone staying on campus is a secondary contact. A close contact is someone who has been directly exposed to COVID-19, whereas a secondary contact has been close to a close contact, as defined by ACT Health. This means that all students in residential halls must adhere to additional COVID-19 preventative measures in addition to the measures put in place by ACT Health earlier today. The following breakdown summarises the precautions put in place by each respective ANU and ANU-affiliated residential halls and colleges.

Students living in Burton and Garran Hall are not allowed to leave their rooms unless they are using the bathroom, as there is a close contact in the hall, all other students are considered to be secondary contacts. Food and meals will be delivered to residents this evening, but no further information has been provided regarding the logistical plans for delivery or accommodations for alternative dietary requirements. 

Similarly, at Wamburun Hall, students cannot leave their room except to go to the bathroom. A close contact has been identified, and all other students are secondary contacts. Domino’s pizza was delivered to students in their rooms. The residents were invited to an online forum at 9pm this evening with the ANU Director of Residential Experience, Susan Helyar.

At John XXIII College, a close contact has been identified. From the 12th to 13th of August, residents are not allowed to leave their rooms except for bathroom facilities and meals will be dropped off at each room. A buddy system has been implemented so that residents have one other member within their corridor to socialise with. Residents can go to meals with the buddy to pick up meals in takeaway containers, exercise with the buddy and are able to visit each other’s rooms. Residents cannot see or exercise with anyone other than their buddy. There will also be designated block times for laundry access to seperate contact between corridors. Residents are not allowed to see their significant others within the college unless the significant other is identified as the resident’s designated corridor buddy. Should John’s residents desire to see their significant other outside of college, they are advised to not return to college until lockdown is over. 

At Warrumbul Lodge, Lena Karmel Lodge and Kinloch UniLodge, a close contact has been identified at each lodge. As such, residents of all lodges are considered secondary contacts. Residents are required to stay in their rooms, and not enter common spaces, and to order groceries online, which will be delivered by Unilodge staff. 

At Wright Hall, a close contact has been identified, meaning that all other residents are considered secondary contacts. Students are not to leave their rooms unless using the bathroom, or the kitchenette, and they must wear PPE at all times. Only one person may use the kitchenette at a time. Wings will be allocated time slots to do their laundry. Students are not to socialise with other people in other wings, but because they share bathroom facilities, socialising with other students in their own wing will not be policed, and students may only have one other student in their room. They cannot spend extended periods of time on their balcony. Meals are being delivered to the student’s doors, but this policy will be revised pending Covid-19 test results. 

Residents at Fenner Hall will not have access to common spaces except for floor kitchenettes. Only 20 people may be in the kitchen at a time and only four people may use each kitchenette bay. Only one person may use the elevator, or two if they are from the same floor. Students are permitted to nominate one ‘lockdown buddy’ from their floor, with whom they can visit each other’s rooms. They may also exercise with this person for one hour a day. Alternatively, students can elect to have a buddy from another floor to exercise with for an hour a day, but they cannot visit each other’s rooms. If a buddy is not nominated – visitors to the student’s room are prohibited. 

At Bruce Hall, common rooms, study rooms, computer labs, and other social areas have been closed off. Only one resident is allowed in elevators, kitchenettes, and laundries at a time, and each wing has been allocated a specific time frame to use facilities. Like other halls, masks must be worn at all times when leaving rooms, no visitors are allowed into the hall, and meal times will be staggered according to wings. Should a member of a specific wing test positive for COVID-19, any other person considered a first-order contact will also be required to quarantine, including all residents living in the same wing as the positive resident. Residents are allowed to see their significant others in other wings. 

At Burgmann College, all common areas have been closed and catered residents must collect their meals in takeaway form and eat it in their room or outdoors. All residents must wear masks outside their rooms. Kitchenettes and laundries remain open, but only one person may use it at a time. All college activities will go online. Residents can exercise and socialise with one other person on their floor, unless they are in a relationship with a resident on another floor. No guests are allowed.

At Ursula Hall, a close contact has been identified at the self-catered Laurus Wing, making all other Laurus Wing residents secondary contacts. A buddy system will be implemented such that residents have one other member on their same floor to exercise together. Residents from the Main Wing and Laurus Wing cannot be buddies. Meal times will be staggered according to corridor and there will be pre-packaged meals available. Laurus Wing residents with meal tickets can collect their meals at any time during meal services. All common areas will be closed, microwaves will be removed, and printers will not be accessible. Only one person is allowed at a time in laundries and lifts. Students with parcels can only collect them from 11:00am to 12:00pm during the business week.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health, help is available at ANU Counselling or the ANU Wellbeing and Support Line on 1300 050 327, which operates 24/7. Additional information about how the University is managing the emerging COVID-19 situation can be found on the ANU’s website here.

All information in this article is accurate as of 8:45pm on 12 August 2021. The article will be updated as more information is released.

We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.