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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

The safety and wellbeing of our students is our primary concern and we are doing
everything we can to minimise the risks to students.

COVID-19 Update, August 1 2020

Dear St Ann’s College Students, Families and Community,

I am extremely proud of the way our staff, students, council and community have managed the immense challenges of Covid-19.

It is hard to believe that Australia has now been living with the pandemic for nearly five months.

Following government directives in March, most domestic students – after discussing the circumstances with their families – returned to their homes. Many of our international students were recalled by their governments and moved off-shore.

The shift outside college walls protected the physical and mental safety of our students, while giving the college, state and nation time to prepare for a Corona virus world.

During this time, our students, both within the College and remotely, put in place a number of initiatives which have helped us all cope with this completely new set of circumstances.

These have included:

  • Academic monitoring of student performances and experiences using Zoom meetings
  • Weekly emails providing information on successful study habits, mental and physical wellbeing tips and social interactions
  • A three-part podcast of an interview with a psychologist offering mental health guidance
  • Assistance with documentation, accommodation and transport for students returning from interstate and needing to enter quarantine
  • Virtual college events

These initiatives have improved student academic performance, kept students engaged and maintained our College community feel.

However after such an extended interruption to our normal activities, we are happy to report that 94% of our college community have now returned. To say there is excitement in the residence halls as our students reunite with their friends is an understatement!

Amid the disruption, we have fared much better than many others. We are fortunate to be in a state that currently is safe from the virus. However we are well aware that complacency can change the trajectory at any time.

St Ann’s has put the necessary protocols in place to ensure the College remains Covid-free and is prepared should infections escalate.

With the college now fully operational, we have instigated a Covid-safe plan which outlines a number of supports – including enhanced cleaning, social distancing guidelines and multiple hand sanitizing stations. Dinners have been divided into two sittings.

With the onset of any slight signs of illness, students must take a Covid test and isolate until results are clear. We have also ordered 300 recyclable masks, due for delivery in mid-August, giving students the option of purchasing personal protective equipment.

The mental and physical wellbeing of St Ann’s students remains our primary focus. Contented and safe students are likely to thrive academically.

Thank you once again to our students and community for your support, understanding and resilience.

The Principal and office staff remain available to all students who have any questions or concerns. Any family members who wish to contact the college should use our email address: info@stannscollege.edu.au

 

Kind regards,

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

COVID-19 Status, March 26 2020

Dear St Ann’s College Students, Families and Community,

I should like to thank you for your support and understanding during these unique circumstances we are all facing with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which is probably the greatest challenge St Ann’s has faced in its more than 70 year history.

We are meeting the challenge head on and our students have been both flexible and resilient as the impact of the pandemic unfolds. I must congratulate them for responding so responsibly to the rapidly changing circumstances and guidelines.

The latest COVID-19 advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee specifically mentions residential student colleges, advising: ‘Consideration should be given to closing student residential accommodation.’

At this time, we advise that all students who have the opportunity to return home or seek alternate accommodation, do so as soon as possible. Please be aware that as travel restrictions increase and the Covid-19 virus spreads in Australia, the opportunity to return home will diminish. We will continueto support students who for a variety of good reasons, have to remain in the College until directed to do so by the government or the relevant health authorities.

In recent weeks, the management of St Ann’s has held extensive discussions to establish a strategic approach that takes into account all possibilities.

As a result, for the safety and wellbeing of all our students, we have given encouragement and full assistance to everyone who has expressed a wish to return home.

Please be assured we are putting formal processes in place to maintain regular contact with students as they study remotely. We are committed to conducting academic monitoring with every student. We will facilitate and provide links to academic tutors, as well as guidance to help students make the most of their institution’s online learning.

The College has an enviable reputation for supporting students to achieve a high level of academic excellence with a pass rate of more than 90% and up to one third of all students receiving a medal for recording more High Distinctions and Distinctions than any other grade, we are committed – even in these unprecedented circumstances – to supporting students to perform to the best of their ability.

Naturally, the physical and mental health of our students, their families and our staff remain our key priority. We wish everyone well and look forward to seeing all our students back at St Ann’s as soon as we are advised by the appropriate authorities that normal operations can resume.

The Principal and office staff remain available to all students who have any questions or concerns. I also will issue periodic updates to ensure everyone is promptly informed of the latest developments.

Any family members who wish to contact the college should use our email address: info@stannscollege.edu.au

 

Kind regards,

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

COVID-19 Status, March 16 2020

  • To date, none of our students or staff has tested positive, knowingly been in contact with someone who has had the virus or has any symptoms of the virus.
  • Should students wish to return home immediately, we will support them.
  • Any student with underlying health issues is encouraged to prioritise their safety and return home as soon as possible.
  • If you are feeling unwell for any reason, please notify the office and/or your corridor Tutor or Tutor on duty. Regardless of the reason for your
    illness, you will be encouraged to take meals in your room. Depending upon your symptoms and risk factors, you may be able to continue to
    move around the College or may be asked to further self-isolate until we can arrange to have you tested.
  • Gatherings of more than 99 people are banned; the College strongly recommends parties or gatherings of more than 5 people be reconsidered.
  • It is mandatory that students use sign-in and sign-out sheets in all designated public areas. It is in the best interest of the College as it may mitigate the need for all of us to go into quarantine or isolation.
  • Use the hand sanitisers as you enter and exit the building, corridors and rooms. We encourage you to open windows and fresh air should be used as a preference over air conditioning.

We will continue to monitor the situation and implement changes as soon as they are appropriate, which could include a request for all students who are not required to attend university (and who have a safe transit option) to return home. Our three university partners have largely moved or are moving to online
teaching.

There is information indicating that the virus is likely to peak in May/June with some form of restriction likely to remain in place until the last quarter of 2020.

We thank you for your understanding at this time. Please contact me should you require additional information or wish to discuss this ever-changing crisis.

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

COVID-19 Precautions taken to date and plans for the future

Have received and acted on advice by SA Health

Symptom and action plan flowchart circulated to all senior staff COVID19

Have recommended the cancellation of all College and College Club sanctioned events

Have cancelled all Kitchen Duty

Staggered Meal times A-M first half of meal service N-Z second half

Established procedures and protocols for students who are self-isolating or in

isolation including meal service to rooms of all students wishing or needing to self-isolate

Stocked disposable plates, cup, cutlery for use when students are in isolation

Are disinfecting all stair rails, door knobs, light switches and surfaces in common areas daily (extra vigilance)

Installed 37 Hand Sanitisers around the College (six weeks ago with a regular service contract)

Introduced Social Distancing in common areas, including one empty seat between each person during all meal times

Introduced a Sign in/out Register for all Common Areas

Stopped all overnight guests and short-term accommodation

Introduced a Sign in/out Register for all day visitors to the College

Set up a designated isolation facility at 288 Melbourne Street

Have identified alternative catering options off-site

Have identified deep or pandemic cleaning resources in the event of a confirmed case and temporary closure