Here is a brief update following my email to you yesterday.
Youth Allowance announcement
The Federal Government has announced that students who receive Abstudy, Austudy and youth allowance will be eligible for the coronavirus supplement on the same basis as the other jobseeker payment. Current advice is that this will increase the payments by $550 per fortnight for six months and asset tests and waiting times for these groups will be waived. The expanded access will begin 27 April 2020 and the information will be on the Centrelink website once it is available.
Update to campus and student services
Many of our services are moving online, but our computer labs and spaces for students remain open. We have increased spacing between the work areas so that the areas are in line with the social distancing recommendations and ask users to practice excellent hygiene in these public spaces. These areas are being cleaned more frequently and we have installed extra hand sanitiser in these areas for your use.
The Government restrictions announced on Sunday – whilst important for public health – have sadly meant that Flinders Sports and Fitness, Oasis and the prayers rooms have had to close for now and our food outlets have needed to move to take-away service only. If you can, please support these outlets.
Ping! tomorrow will have a full update on our support services for students which are now available online. You can check these out through the Flinders Support Network website.
Community news and social distancing
The University learned late yesterday that a second member of our community was one of the 34 new cases recorded in South Australia yesterday. We have confirmation from the Department of Health and from the individual themselves that they returned from overseas in mid-March and have not been on a Flinders site since returning to Australia. We understand the individual is experiencing mild symptoms and wish them a speedy recovery.
This is a good reminder to all of us that social distancing - whilst difficult at times - is a vital part of what we all need to do to slow the rate of infection.
- Stay 1.5m away from others
- Practice great hygiene including thorough handwashing
- Stay at home if you are unwell
Ongoing information support and advice
The Vice-Chancellor and I will be recording a short video tomorrow covering key issues you’re facing as students as a result of the changes we’re making in response to COVID-19. The video will be available tomorrow afternoon via our student webpage.
Our staff and student websites provide regular updates and have links to a wide range of resources and FAQs.