Protecting Your Health

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore/scratchy throat
  • shortness of breath

Other reported symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • loss of smell
  • loss of taste
  • runny nose
  • muscle pain
  • joint pain
  • diarrhoea
  • nausea/vomiting
  • loss of appetite

In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress.

Anyone with respiratory symptoms (such as cough, sore/scratchy throat or shortness of breath) or unexplained fever should be tested for COVID-19.

People without symptoms do not require testing, except in special circumstances.

Find a COVID-19 testing clinic here and for more information about COVID-19 symptoms and testing visit the NSW Health website.

  • If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, even mild symptoms, you should get tested. Find a COVID-19 testing clinic here.
  • You should isolate yourself in a room away from others while waiting for your test results.  
  • Students and staff who are unwell must not attend the University.
  • If you would like to speak with someone about your symptoms you can call the National Coronavirus 24-hour Helpline on 1800 020 080. If you require translating or interpreting services call 131 450.
  • Overseas students can also call the Medibank OSHC Health and Support Line on 1800 887 283.
  • NSW Health has arranged for medical fees to be waived for any international student who seeks treatment in relation to COVID-19.
  • For more information about COVID-19 symptoms and testing visit the NSW Health website.
  • For health concerns other than Covid-19, NSW Health has a free helpline, Health Direct, at 1800 022 222. Registered nurses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide advice when you’re not sure what to do. (*Calls are free from a landline; charges may apply from a mobile phone.)

You must self-isolate if you have:

You should regularly check the NSW Health website to stay up to date with latest COVID-19 health alerts and advice.

NSW Health has a series of home isolation guides.

NSW Health’s self- isolation guidance states you must not:

  • Leave your accommodation except for the following reasons: obtaining medical care, complying with a legal obligation, an emergency, providing essential services or leaving NSW.

  • Let other people into your residence unless they live there.

  • Yes – You will be asked for the details of your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) if you attend a doctor, medical centre or hospital.
  • Go here for more information on OSHC.
  • UNSW’s preferred OSHC provider is Medibank.

We encourage all students and staff to follow the advice of NSW Health in relation to the wearing of face masks to help keep each other safe.

NSW Health strongly recommends wearing a face mask in the following situations:

  • If it is hard to maintain 1.5 metres of physical distance from others
  • On public transport
  • In supermarkets and shops
  • In places of worship
  • In indoor venues with a higher risk of transmission, where practical
  • If working in cafes, restaurants pubs and clubs and other venues with a higher risk of transmission.
  • In hotspots i.e. areas of high community transmission 
  • When visiting or caring for a vulnerable person, including elderly relatives.

You should also wear a mask if you:

  • Have symptoms and are in the same room as another person
  • Are in self-isolation and in the same room as another person
  • Are getting tested for COVID-19, seeking medical advice or entering a health care facility.

People in higher-risk groups are strongly encouraged to wear masks in all social circumstances.

The use of a face mask is not a substitute for staying home if you are sick or required to isolate, getting tested, physical distancing and ensuring personal hygiene measures such as regular hand-washing and sneezing and coughing into your elbow or a tissue. 

The latest NSW Health information on when and how to wear a mask can be found here.

At UNSW we encourage you to always have a reusable cloth mask with you on campus, in addition to hand sanitiser and wipes, to use as needed.

NSW Health provides useful instructions on how to make an appropriate cloth mask here

If you do develop any COVID-19 symptoms, even mild ones, self-isolate and get a COVID-19 test.

The Australian government has launched the COVIDSafe app to speed up contacting people exposed to COVID-19 and help stop the spread of the virus. You can read more about the COVIDSafe app hereIf you choose not to download the app, we recommend you keep a diary of your movements and contacts.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends individuals:     

Wash your hands frequently

  • Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol

Practise food safety

  • Use different chopping boards and knives for raw and cooked food
  • Wash your hands before, during and after food preparation, and between handling raw and cooked food
  • Wipe down benches and tables after use with alcohol-based disinfectant wipes

Practise respiratory hygiene

  • Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue, then dispose of the used tissue immediately
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Maintain social distancing

  • Stay at home if you feel unwell
  • Avoid close contact (within 1.5 metre distance for at least 15 minutes) with people who are ill

Please observe and comply with health-related signage around the University and hospitals

  • Encourage the individual to seek immediate medical attention. 
  • If the individual declines to seek medical attention, and you are concerned for your own health and the health of those around you, please contact the NSW Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 and they will be able to advise you further.
  • You should discuss any concerns with your tutor, lecturer, supervisor or manager.

UNSW is providing support to students who are concerned via The Nucleus (+61 2 9385 8500). Support is also available via our Student Support Advisors or International Student Advisors.

If staff require further support, please talk to your manager. You can also email hrsupport@unsw.edu or contact a member of your HR Business Partnering team.

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How you can protect your health