Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Information for university and vocational educations students and staff arriving from Hubei Province, China

An outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in late December 2019.

Can I attend my university or vocational education facility?

If you have travelled to Hubei Province, China within the past 14 days, you must isolate yourself for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province. 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. Students in these circumstances should not attend university or college and must avoid contact with other students and staff.

If you have travelled to mainland China in general but not Hubei Province, we do not currently recommend self-isolation. The development of cases outside of Hubei Province is being closely monitored and this advice will be updated if necessary.

If you develop symptom within 14 days of leaving Hubei Province or within 14 days of last contact with the confirmed case, you should arrange to see your usual doctor for urgent assessment. You should telephone the health clinic or hospital before you arrive and tell them of your travel history
or that you have been in contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus. Your doctor will liaise with Public Health authorities to manage your care. You must then remain isolated either in your home or a healthcare setting until Public Health authorities inform you that it is safe for you to return to your usual activities.

What does isolate in your home or residence mean?

People who are recommended to be isolated should not attend public places, in particular work, school, childcare or public areas of university and vocation education campuses for example attending lectures. Only people who usually reside in the home or other place of residence should
be permited on the premises. Do not allow visitors into the home or residence. There is no need to wear masks in the home or residence. Where possible, get others such as friends or family, who are not required to be isolated to get food or other necessities for you.

If your university or vocation education semester has commenced notify your lecturer or tutor of your circumstance to determine whether alternate arrangements for remote learning can be temporarily put in place. If you must leave the home or residence, such as to seek medical care,
wear a surgical mask if you have one.

What is this virus?

Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

The virus seen in Hubei Province, China is called ‘novel’ because it is new. It had not been detected before this outbreak. Most people infected live in, or travelled to, Hubei Province, China. There have been cases of 2019-nCoV reported in other Chinese provinces and other countries. It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

What if I am sick now or develop symptoms within 14 days of being in Hubei Province?

If you develop mild symptoms:

  • isolate yourself from other people
  • call a doctor or hospital and tell them you may have novel coronavirus infection
  • when you get to the doctor’s clinic or hospital, tell them again that you may have novel coronavirus infection.

If you have serious symptoms such as shortness of breath:

  • call 000 and ask for an ambulance (this will work even if you don’t have phone credit)
  • tell the ambulance officers that you may have novel coronavirus infection.

Your doctor will test you for 2019-nCoV and provide advice on management. You will also be contacted by Public Health officers who will provide you with more information.

How can I help prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV?

Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
  • avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
  • cough and sneeze into your elbow.

Where can I get more information?

Visit the Australian Government Department of Health homepage at

Call the Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599.

Discuss any questions you have with the Public Health Agency monitoring you.

Contact your state or territory public health agency:

  • ACT call 02 5124 9213
  • NSW call 1300 066 055
  • NT call 08 8922 8044
  • QLD call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
  • SA call 1300 232 272
  • TAS call 1800 671 738
  • VIC call 1300 651 160
  • WA visit or call your local public health unit

Please see attached fact sheets translated into Simplified Chinese.