COVID-19 Accommodation FAQs
- Why is UOW Accommodation introducing mandatory vaccination from 2022?
- What do I need to do to ensure that I meet the requirements?
- I am unable to be fully vaccinated because I have a medical contraindication which has been diagnosed by a registered general practitioner. What should I do?
- I am only partially vaccinated (i.e. I have only received one COVID-19 vaccination dose), what should I do?
- I have already accepted an offer of accommodation, however, I am not vaccinated against COVID-19 and do not intend to get fully vaccinated. What are my options?
- What information will UOW collect from me and how will UOW use that information with respect to vaccination for COVID-19?
UOW Accommodation is committed to continuing to provide a safe living experience for all residents. To ensure we provide all possible safeguards to manage risks associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, UOW has made the decision that at the commencement of the 2022 contracted accommodation period, all residents, their family members and guests aged 12 and over; as well as all UOW accommodation staff and contractors, are required to be fully vaccinated (i.e. 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and any additional doses for which they are eligible) against COVID-19.
UOW recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic poses a higher risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of those living in high-density residential settings - such as those provided by UOW Accommodation. This control aims to support UOW mitigating the risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of our residential community, as well as minimising disruption to our students' educational experience.
UOW has formally established a Public Health Expert Reference Group to inform decision-making about safe campus operations, including the implementation of COVID Safe practices. The Reference Group has approved the mandating of vaccination in UOW student accommodation in 2022.
- have had 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and any additional doses for which they are eligible, in accordance with published NSW Health recommendations; or
- have a medical contraindication that prevents them from receiving any COVID-19 vaccine available in NSW.
This evidence must be provided to UOW Student Accommodation prior to the start of the contract.
For instructions and to upload your evidence, please visit the UOW Accommodation StarRez portal.
Once you have submitted your evidence, you can arrive at your UOW Accommodation as planned.
If you are unable to be fully vaccinated due to a medical contraindication, you need to provide us with evidence of your medical contraindication. This information must be provided by a registered medical practitioner and can be provided via the Australian Immunisation Register medical exemption form.
Residents with a medical contraindication must agree and sign a written Resident COVID-19 Plan (RCP) which may include reasonable adjustments to your living situation to manage the health and safety risks to yourself and others of living in high-density housing. This may include moving to a studio apartment, wearing a mask in common areas; or undertaking regular COVID-19 PCR or Rapid Antigen Testing and supplying the results of that testing to UOW.
If you wish to discuss your medical contraindication with us immediately, please email email@example.com and one of our staff will contact you.
You should still submit your Immunisation History Statement (available through Medicare), or evidence of your overseas vaccination status (for international students) via the StarRez online portal (link coming soon). Please also immediately contact UOW Accommodation via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your vaccination plan prior to arriving at UOW Accommodation.
If you are not vaccinated against COVID-19 and/or do not have a medical contraindication to receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, or if you don’t wish to provide evidence of this, then you may ask to be released from your contract by submitting a Request to be Released from Accommodation Contract form.
When submitting the form, please select “Other” in Table B of the form, complete the Resident Declaration and return the signed form via email to: email@example.com. UOW will agree to any requests made on this basis and refund your $500 Acceptance Fee as well as your $28 Accommodation Application Fee. You should make this request as soon as possible.
If you do not seek a release and fail to provide evidence in accordance with the above instructions, you will be in breach of your contract and UOW will terminate the contract. This means you will not be entitled to stay in UOW student accommodation, and you will not be entitled to a refund of the $500 Acceptance Fee.
Privacy Collection Notice for students in UOW Accommodation
UOW is committed to providing safe halls of residence to all staff, students and contractors.
In accordance with the UOW Residence Rules, you are required to be fully vaccinated and submit proof of your vaccination status (or proof of any medical exemption) as a condition to residing at any UOW Accommodation site. This means that you will not be able to enter or remain on any UOW Accommodation site without your prior notification of your vaccination status.
UOW will collect, use and disclose vaccination information in accordance with this Notice.
Collection of your vaccination information
The University has a responsibility to ensure that it has exercised its duty of care responsibilities in effectively handling the risks associated with COVID-19 at UOW Accommodation sites.
The collection of your vaccination status is reasonably necessary for the University to manage these responsibilities.
You will need to provide official evidence of your vaccination status. You must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine that has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) or otherwise you must have an official record of a medical exemption. All evidence must be clear, legible, in the English language and contain your name and date of birth
You can provide your proof of vaccination status via the self-service portal in StarRez. The following documents can be uploaded as evidence of vaccination status:
- a current document issued by the Australian Government such as an immunisation history statement or a COVID-19 digital certificate
- any other document from an equivalent central register or health department if vaccinated in another country (of a vaccine approved by the TGA)
- a certificate issued by a medical practitioner certifying that you cannot have any approved COVID-19 vaccine because of a specified medical contraindication.
How your information will be used
We will only use vaccination information for the purpose of confirming your vaccination status. Only authorised staff who have a relevant and authorised business need will be able to access your vaccination status. We will not otherwise use or disclose this information unless required or authorised by law.
Residents with a medical contraindication to vaccination will be required to enter into a written Resident COVID Plan (RCP), which will set out agreed measures to manage risks associated with COVID-19. The content of the RCP will depend on each Resident’s individual circumstances and will include reasonable requirements and adjustments to that person’s living situation, designed to manage the health and safety risks to themselves and others that are associated with living in high density housing. Once in place, Residents will be required to comply with the terms of their RCP.
De-identified information may be used or disclosed where there is a relevant business need and in order to support our response to COVID-19 safety measures.
Consequences of withholding vaccination status
It is a condition of residence in student accommodation that you are fully vaccinated (or otherwise have a medical contraindication certificate).
If you do not provide your vaccination status or are not fully vaccinated, you will not be able to stay at any UOW accommodation site
Storage of vaccination information
Your vaccination status will be treated in a confidential manner, stored securely, only made available to authorised staff who require it for the purposes outlined in this Notice and retained only for as long as required by law or otherwise as soon as its business use ceases.
Access to vaccination information
You can access or make amendments to the information relating to your vaccination status at any time by utilising the self-service portal. If you have any problems accessing this portal, please contact UOW Accommodation at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information about our commitment to privacy, including details about how you can raise concerns can be found at our Privacy homepage.
Alternatively, you may wish to get in touch with our Privacy Officer at email@example.com
How we manage COVID-19 in our residences
- What measures are in place to manage the risk of COVID-19?
- Do residents need to practice physical distancing?
- What are the guidelines and limits on visitors and guests?
- Can residence open spaces and communal facilities be used by residents?
- What do I do if I become sick?
- Are dining halls open in catered residences?
- What will UOW do if someone tests positive in a residence? Will they close the residence?
- I am feeling anxious. What mental health support is available?
UOW Residences are operating under a comprehensive COVID Safe plan which meets the requirements of State & Federal governments as well as industry guidelines. COVID-safe practices are in place 24/7 and the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our top priority.
All UOW Accommodation requires all students, staff, contractors and visitors to be fully vaccinated to live, work and visit onsite. Please see UOW Accommodation vaccination requirements for more information.
We have a wide range of plans in place to respond to and manage local outbreaks including supporting students who are required to isolate.
We support students with daily wellbeing checks, and allow them to order meals and/or groceries online and have them delivered to their room.
UOW Accommodation is staffed 24/7 and supported by UOW Security 24/7. We have robust emergency support plans and can assist students at any time of the day.
Physical distancing remains an important requirement, and means you need to keep a minimum of 1.5 metres of physical space from other people around you.
Each residence has a COVIDSafe plan and provide instructions to staff, students and visitors.
Refer to the NSW Health website for steps you can take to protect yourself and others, and to reduce the likelihood of contracting or spreading COVID-19.
It is important that we all recognise that these measures are in place to protect ourselves, each other and the wider community.
UOW Accommodation continues to follow NSW Government guidelines and amends its COVID Safe practices in line with changes to public health orders and restrictions.
Visitors and guests to UOW Accommodation must be fully vaccinated, must show proof of vaccination and must sign in on entry.
Yes they can, in limited numbers and in accordance with NSW Health gudelines. This includes maintaining physical distancing and wearing face masks. All residence common spaces have clear signage as to the maximum number of people allowed in that space.
It is no longer mandatory to self-isolate at home in residence if you test positive for COVID-19. NSW Health strongly recommends people who are sick or have tested positive to COVID-19 stay home until their symptoms have gone. Some restrictions will still apply for high-risk settings such as healthcare and aged care facilities.
For more information please see this NSW Health Guidance.
Yes they are.
NSW Health will provide instruction to the University dependent on the circumstances involved. UOW Residences are also operating under a comprehensive COVID Safe plan that outlines a range of contingency plans, enabling us to respond quickly should the need arise. Students will be supported and assisted with their needs.
We know the impact of COVID-19 has caused stress and anxiety for many students.
We want you to know that we are here to support you. If you are finding the current situation difficult to deal with, we encourage you to access the many support services available.
Students seeking immediate support are able to reach out to our 24 Hour Student Wellbeing Support Line that you call or text for free support and assistance from a mental health support worker. Call 1300 036 149 or Text 0488 884 164.
UOW also offers free and confidential counselling that can provide support with a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological issues.
Our Student Support Coordinators can also help you find the best support for your individual circumstances.
For a comprehensive list of services available for students, visit the Support services website.
UOW has also collated a list of Mental Health and Wellbeing tips to help you navigate this difficult time.