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Mental health, hygiene and wellbeing for TAFE

Guidance on managing mental health, hygiene and wellbeing for TAFE and registered training organisations.

COVIDSafe plans

Tertiary education providers must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place if they have any staff or students on site.

Information about COVIDSafe plans can be found on the COVIDSafe plan webpage.

If a student or staff member is or has had contact with a confirmed case

Contact the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on 1300 651 160 to discuss what to do next if you think a student or staff member:

  • has a confirmed case
  • has been in close contact with a confirmed case

DHHS defines close contact as someone who has either:

  • had at least 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • shared a closed space for more than two hours with someone who is a confirmed case

Unless you have a student or staff member in one of the two above categories, you do not need to take further action.

You should continue to encourage good hygiene practices as this is the most effective way of minimising the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If there is a confirmed case at your training provider

All providers must notify WorkSafe immediately after becoming aware that:

  • an employee, independent contractor, employee of the independent contractor or self-employed person has received a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • the employee, independent contractor, employee of the independent contractor or self-employed person has attended the workplace within the relevant infection period

To report a confirmed case contact:

WorkSafe on 12 23 60 - for more information about how to report a confirmed case to WorkSafe are available on the WorkSafe website.

You should also contact the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline at DHHS for advice on closure and contact tracing: 1800 675 398.

Face masks

Face masks remain mandatory in some settings, unless you have a lawful reason not to wear one

  • face masks are no longer mandatory when you are outdoors, if you can stay 1.5 metres away from people that you don’t live with
  • use of face masks outdoors is required if you are unable to stay further than 1.5 metres away from people you don’t live with, such as at public transport stations, outdoor markets, walkways and thoroughfares. Face masks remain mandatory when indoors – for example the supermarket or on public transport.
  • you must continue to carry a face mask with you at all times.

Physical distancing tips

There are still a number of actions that organisations can take to help reduce the risk of transmission and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Victorian community.

In-line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, Registered Training Providers should consider a variety of strategies to support physical distancing and good hygiene practices. Physical distancing measures include non-contact greetings (no handshakes) and maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres between individuals where possible.

Consider reducing the number of large student and staff gatherings as a way of practising physical distancing, such as staggering break times and postponing large events.

Physical distancing is important in reducing physical contact and maintaining high standards of hygiene and will help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community. 

Maintaining good health hygiene

Remind your staff and students that everyone can protect against infections by practising good hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene.

Here are some tips that everyone can follow:

  • cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue, or cough into your elbow
  • dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards
  • wash your hands often, after using the toilet, and before eating

Health promotion materials are available to distribute and promote to your staff and students, see:

Mental health and wellbeing

It's important that we continue to look out for ourselves, and for each other.

The following organisations have web pages with advice on looking after your mental health:

Employee assistance program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all Department of Education and Training staff - including their immediate families (aged over 18) - to access personalised psychological support via the phone or video conference. Call 1300 361 008

Leaders and managers can access EAP's Manager Assist for additional, personalised support, coaching and guidance. Call 1300 361 008.

Find information on the supports and structures available to schools to help implement health and safety guidelines and advice: COVID-19 employee health, safety and wellbeing supports for schools.

Family violence response

Family violence incidents and risk can increase during emergency and traumatic situations.

For information about supporting students, families and staff experiencing family violence visit Responding to family violence in schools.

Reviewed 23 November 2020

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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