Health, hygiene and wellbeing

We are working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Victorian Chief Health Officer to monitor and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

From 11.59pm on Wednesday 5 August, as a result of Stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne, TAFEs, registered training organisations, learn locals and universities will move to remote and online learning, except for critical teaching, research and ancillary activities that cannot be delivered remotely.

Regional Victoria, including Mitchell Shire, will move to Stage 3 restrictions.

If a student or staff member is or has had contact with a confirmed case

Contact DHHS on 1300 651 160 to discuss what to do next if you think a student or staff member:

  • has a confirmed case
  • has been in close contact with a confirmed case.

DHHS defines 'close contact' as someone who has either:

  • had at least 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • shared a closed space for more than two hours with someone who is a confirmed case.

Unless you have a student or staff member in one of the two above categories, you do not need to take further action.

You should continue to encourage good hygiene practices as this is the most effective way of minimising the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If there is a confirmed case at your training provider

All providers must notify WorkSafe immediately after becoming aware that:

  • an employee, independent contractor, employee of the independent contractor or self-employed person has received a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus (COVID-19) and
  • the employee, independent contractor, employee of the independent contractor or self-employed person has attended the workplace within the relevant infection period.

To report a confirmed case contact:

  • WorkSafe on 12 23 60 - for more information about how to report a confirmed case to WorkSafe are available through the WorkSafe website
  • You should also contact the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline at DHHS for advice on closure and contact tracing: 1800 675 398.

Use of face coverings in Victoria

From 11:59pm on Sunday 2 August 2020, every person living in Victoria must wear a face covering when they leave home. This change follows a recent concerning increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria and increasing evidence that wearing a face covering helps prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Wearing a face covering provides an additional physical barrier and helps to reduce community transmission.

The DHHS website has advice about face coverings, including:

  • different types that can be used
  • how to make your own
  • how to safely wear and safely remove.

Physical distancing

Physical distancing tips

There are still a number of actions that organisations can take to help reduce the risk of transmission and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Victorian community.

In-line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, Registered Training Providers should consider a variety of strategies to support physical distancing and good hygiene practices. Physical distancing measures include non-contact greetings (no handshakes) and maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres between individuals where possible.

Consider reducing the number of large student and staff gatherings as a way of practicing physical distancing, such as staggering break times and postponing large events.

Physical distancing is important in reducing physical contact and maintaining high standards of hygiene and will help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community. 

Maintaining good health hygiene

Remind your staff and students that everyone can protect against infections by practising good hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene.

Here are some tips that everyone can follow:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue, or cough into your elbow.
  • Dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards.
  • Wash your hands often, after using the toilet, and before eating.

Health promotion materials are available to distribute and promote to your staff and students, see:

Mental health and wellbeing

As the nature of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic evolves and we continue to be more confined to our homes, health and wellbeing should be a priority for all of us. It's important that we continue to look out for ourselves, and for each other.

The following organisations have web pages with advice on looking after your mental health:

Employee assistance program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all Department staff – including their immediate families (aged over 18) – to access personalised psychological support via the phone or video conference. Call 1300 361 008. 

Leaders and managers can access EAP's Manager Assist for additional, personalised support, coaching and guidance. Call 1300 361 008.

Find information on the supports and structures available to schools to help implement health and safety guidelines and advice: COVID-19 employee health, safety and wellbeing supports for schools

Family violence response

Family violence incidents and risk can increase during emergency and traumatic situations.

For information about supporting students, families and staff experiencing family violence visit Family violence support