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COVID-19 information and FAQs

The latest health information and NSW Health advice
Learn more about COVID-19, what you should do if you're exposed to the virus and how the University can offer assistance.

General FAQs

Symptoms include fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat and 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 and loss of appetite.

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

Visit the NSW Health website for further information.

Government advice is that it's likely general prevention measures used for other respiratory infections will also prevent infection with COVID-19. The University has implemented several measures to help minimise risk, including enhanced levels of cleaning at the campus and provision of hand sanitisers.

Students and staff should always follow these basic hygiene rules:

  • use soap or alcohol-based hand wash frequently; wash your hands for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • avoid areas where there are people sneezing; if you need to sneeze or cough, cover your mouth or nose with a flexed elbow and dispose of tissues immediately.
  • avoid contact with anyone who is unwell
  • do not attend study or work if you feel unwell; instead talk with your lecturer or manager and make alternative arrangements.

Even if you have the mildest of symptoms, it’s important that you self-isolate and get tested immediately. 

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, which include a fever, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath:

  • isolate yourself from others immediately
  • Call your doctor and get tested at a COVID testing clinic.
  • The University Health Service can be reached on (02) 9351 3484 or call the Royal Prince Alfred emergency department (closest to our main campus in Camperdown) on 02 9515 6111.

If symptoms appear while at the University, please excuse yourself from the class or work area and seek medical attention.

As per current NSW Health guidelines, people living in the same household as an identified close contact will need to self-isolate until the close contact receives a negative test result.

If you share a house or apartment with a person confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, you will be provided with guidance from NSW Health about self-isolation. You will not be permitted on campus.

If you are identified as a close contact of the infected person you will be contacted directly by NSW Health (or the equivalent in other states and territories) and provided with specific instructions. If you have not been contacted by the public health unit, please monitor your health closely and if you develop symptoms isolate yourself immediately and seek medical attention. You can also visit the NSW Health website for public health alerts and updates. 

If the event was a University of Sydney event or an event hosted on our campuses, you may be contacted by the University and/or NSW Health.

Close contact is typically someone who has been face-to-face for at least 15 minutes or been in the same closed space for at least 2 hours, with a person who was infectious.

You will be contacted directly by the University and/or NSW Health and you may be asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days. If you show any symptoms of COVID-19 you should contact your nearest COVID-19 clinic to arrange testing.

A casual contact is typically someone who has been face-to-face for less than 15 minutes or been in the same closed space for less than 2 hours, with a person who was infectious.

NSW Health’s current advice is that you will not need to self-isolate, but you should not come to campus for 14 days from the last date you came into contact with the infected person.

You should monitor your health and if you show any symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate and call your doctor or Healthdirect on 1800 022 222. When you call, tell them you have been in contact with a confirmed case.

If your symptoms are severe, phone your local Emergency Department or 000. Inform them that you have been in contact with a confirmed case.

Update 23 June 2021: An updated Public Health Order was released on June 23 2021 requiring masks to be worn in all indoor non-residential settings (unless individuals are otherwise exempt). 

Masks are required to be worn while in any indoor area of non-residential premises and while attending organised outdoor gatherings and there is no general exemption for universities. Students, staff and affilites are required to wear masks while indoors or at outdoor events on campus, subject to the exemptions listed on the NSW Health website.

As outlined in the PHOs you can remove a mask in a number of circumstances including: 

  • when eating or drinking
  • if a risk to health and safety arises
  • because of an emergency
  • a person is working in an office alone, until another person enters
  • the person is in a school, early education facility, public hospital or private health facility.

You will not be asked to remove a mask unless it is necessary to meet a safety or compliance requirement of a specialty facility.

Supply of surgical masks

The University has a limited supply of disposable surgical masks. These will be supplied for use in the following settings:

  • Essential onsite face-to-face services such as teaching, service roles and laboratory work
  • For staff and students in clinical and medical settings (as masks are compulsory in accordance with NSW Health requirements for health care workers)
  • For staff and students in practical teaching settings where physical distance cannot be maintained
  • To give to students in University accommodation who are unwell or required to self-isolate.
Wearing a mask

It is important to ensure your mask is fitted correctly and to follow safe procedures for putting on and taking off masks. Used masks can be disposed of in normal bins around campus.

NSW Health have provided detailed guidance on how to wear a mask.

You can also watch the video demonstration by the Australian Department of Health.


The Australian Government requires individuals to self-isolate if they have:

  • Been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Been in a location that is subject to a current NSW Public Health Order in the past 14 days
  • Been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • Have been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for results
  • Arrived in Australia less than 14 days ago.

Self-isolation means that you don’t leave your home or accommodation, you separate yourself from others in the household, and you don’t have visitors. Please refer to the specific NSW Health guidance about home isolation for:

Responding to Australian Government decisions, we have made arrangements for any student who is staying in our accommodation to self-isolate if required.

The University will not charge for isolation costs if you are paying rent for your booked accommodation, and they have arranged temporary isolation accommodation.

If you do not wish to stay in the temporary isolation accommodation, the University can also assist in sourcing external accommodation. As this your choice, you are expected to pay your own costs for the period of self-isolation. In this instance, the University will not charge rent on your booked University accommodation for the period of your isolation.

Should you wish to speak to someone regarding the temporary relocation, please contact our student accommodation services team at

Please pack all personal belongings you would like to take with you for the next 14 days.

The University will provide transportation to your temporary accommodation and you will be advised of details once arrangements have been confirmed.

During your stay in isolation the University will provide support to ensure you are comfortable and can access things you need. The University will be providing you with:

  • Bed linen
  • Towels
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Face mask

Once you are in your University accommodation for self-isolation, follow the advice listed under How do I self-isolate?

If your facility does not include wi-fi, a wi-fi dongle will be provided to you at no cost.

Arrangements are also being made to provide you with a streaming service so that you can enjoy movies and television programs during the period of isolation.

After 14 days, the University will provide transportation to your regular accommodation and you will be advised of details once arrangements have been confirmed.

Should you wish to speak to someone regarding the temporary relocation, please contact our student accommodation services team at

In the event of a confirmed case on campus

The response to the detection of COVID-19 within the University community will be managed by the University in cooperation with the NSW Public Health Authority.

Any contacts of a person with a confirmed COVID-19 infection will be communicated with and supported in line with the NSW Public Health Authority protocols. 

NSW Health has developed and exercised a range of procedures for case finding, diagnosis, and contact tracing for high consequence infectious diseases (such as pandemic influenza, SARS, MERS, and emerging infections) should they occur in NSW. These procedures are being used to identify contacts of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in NSW.

See University updates on COVID-19, including details of any confirmed cases on campus.

Keeping up-to-date

It is important to keep yourself updated with advice from NSW Health on any given day to ensure you remain informed of any changing situation near you. Be sure to check these sites regularly:

Last updated June 2021

Contact us

Students can submit a query via the Coronavirus Enquiry form.