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RMIT to remain open as Victorian Premier declares state of emergency

RMIT University remains open to students and the public, as Victoria enters a month-long state of emergency.

There have been no reported cases of the COVID-19 virus by students or staff at RMIT, however the university “will be progressively transitioning to lectures being delivered online”, according to Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean.

On Monday morning, a national restriction on gatherings of more than 500 people was put into effect. However, schools and universities are exempt from the ban.

Melbourne City Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, today announced the closure of all public libraries, swimming pools, gyms and arts venues, within the Local Government Area, until at least the end of the month.

This includes the State Library of Victoria, the City Library in Flinders Lane as well as the Melbourne City and Carlton Baths.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government is forcing anyone arriving into Australia to self-isolate for a period of 14-days.

While lectures and tutorials continue to be held at RMIT, Mr Bean has encouraged students and staff to engage in social distancing practices.

“As a proactive measure, we will be cancelling or postponing any events that are not related to our core business of learning, teaching and research,” Mr Bean said in a statement.

“If you feel unwell please stay home and call your doctor to determine the best course of action for your individual circumstances.”

A Sydney University student tested positive to the novel coronavirus over the weekend, while a University of New South Wales student also contracted the virus.

"The student reported feeling ill, was tested for COVID-19 and is currently in hospital, recovering and doing well,” a statement from Sydney University said.

Some residents at Sydney University accommodation have been forced to vacate their rooms by tomorrow to allow space for other residency students to self-isolate.

There are approximately 300 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia, five people having died following infection.

The Swanston Gazette will continue to monitor changes as they occur.


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