“Universities Australia has been working closely with health authorities for a number of days as they have conducted investigations into potential sources of infection of a delegate that attended the Universities Australia Conference in Canberra and subsequently tested positive to COVID-19.”
“The conference finished on 27 February and the delegate left the ACT and returned to their home state.”
“Health authorities have carried out extensive investigations into the source of the infection but have, as yet, been unable to identify the source of the infection.”
“Now, in line with the advice of ACT Health, we have emailed all delegates and asked them to be alert for any of the symptoms of COVID-19 and supplied health information and contact details.”
“We understand ACT has recorded its first positive test for COVID-19. Just to be clear, that person is not the Universities Australia Conference delegate.”
“As the university sector has done throughout COVID-19, we have adhered meticulously to the advice of medical authorities and will continue to do so.”
“I appreciate the content of the email is likely to cause concern among those who attended our event. However, we are committed to sharing accurate, timely information with our community so that they are fully informed and can take appropriate action if they feel unwell.”
“As we all confront the reality of the virus that has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, what is most important is that we pull together as a community and take expert health advice to try and slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Contact numbers for health authorities are contained in the email to conference delegates below:
We have received a notification from ACT Health that one delegate at the Universities Australia Conference held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra from 25 to 27 February 2020 has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. This person’s disease onset was Sunday, 1 March 2020, three days after the conference ended.
Health authorities have been working to identify the source of the infection but have not yet been able to do so. It is possible someone at the conference may have been the source of the infection.
Universities Australia is working closely with the health authorities, and, as a precaution, we are advising delegates to be alert for any of the symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, sore throat, headache or muscle aches.
If these symptoms develop before 13 March, you should seek medical attention and advise the doctor that you have attended a conference where you might have been in contact with someone with COVID-19. There is no need for you to isolate yourself from others unless you develop symptoms.
Importantly, if you were suffering from these symptoms while you were at the conference please notify your local public health unit (https://www.health.gov.au/about-us/contact-us/local-state-and-territory-health-departments) or call the National Coronavirus Information Line on 1800 020 080. If you are in the ACT, please call the Communicable Disease Control Unit on (02) 5124 9213.
For more information on COVID-19, please see the ACT Health website