The temporary closure of UNSW campus with flexible online learning and study options

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Please read UNSW SRCs CoVID-19 Statement from 15/03/20 ( 

We are experiencing a public health crisis, which requires a proactive response from UNSW given the recent CoVID-19 case appearing on the weekend.

We can reduce/slow down the rate of deaths, infections by isolating the infected and employing social distancing. We have a responsibility to the greater community to reduce transmission through social distancing in order to not impose an unnecessary strain on our health sector and jeaprodise the health of vulnerable groups (such as the elderly, pregnant women and individuals with respiratory issues e.t.c.). We cannot facilitate proper social distancing as UNSW has 50,000 students and staff, including lecture theatres with 300+ seating capacity, enclosed tutorial, labs and seminars and in addition compulsory group projects with other members of the university community.

Another consideration which poses a risk to public health are the swathes of student and staff who would take public transport to and from campus, which cannot only expose them to CoVID-19 due to our dependence on holding onto surfaces on a moving train/bus but the inability to apply one meter social distancing for periods of 30 minutes and longer each day.

UNSW claims the first reported student was not contagious while on campus, however Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Norman Swan who are both respected US and Australian doctors have stated the epidemology of the virus from research collated from Italy and China have shown patients can be contagious prior to developing noticeable symptoms (the student reported symptoms less than 24 hours after visiting campus).

Unfortunately, many countries have taken  reactive rather than proactive strategies to contain CoVID-19 - e.g in Italy patients over the age of 80 have to a significant degree been left to die at home because the ICU beds are full. We will be in this situation soon, we are projected to be three weeks behind Italy in terms of rate of infection. Italy has 3.2 hospital beds per 1000 inhabitants while Australia has 3.8 hospital beds per 1000 inhabitants. This is why proactive steps must be taken now, rather than later! We shouldn't wait for the Federal Government to act, as others overseas had acted to late!