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COVID-19 Update, March 16 2022

Dear St Ann’s Students and Families,


Following up on my earlier COVID correspondence – what’s the old cliché? When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Well, the going has certainly been tough at St Ann’s for the opening weeks of the academic year as the College faced its first significant COVID outbreak.

But as a result of detailed planning and a tremendous effort by everyone in the St Ann’s community, we’ve managed to come through and emerge even stronger.

COVID hit the College at the end of Welcome Week. As soon as the original six cases were reported, the St Ann’s COVID Action Plan swung into effect, including close cooperation with SA Health.

As happens with this virus, numbers quickly soared and, at the peak, 78 students tested positive.

In line with our Action Plan, those students and others identified as close contacts either went home or isolated in their rooms for 10 days. Regular checks on their welfare were carried out by me, the College staff and Residential Tutors. SA Health also supervised students with health complications or underlying medical conditions.

The College’s Academic Tutor program provided solid support for students who had to alter their study plans.

Our chef Rohit and his team prepared individual meals and organised double meal sittings. Residents in isolation ordered meals online via a Teams APP and staff, Residential Tutors and Kitchenhands delivered the food to their doors.


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While it’s been a few years since I worked as a waitress, the old skills were still in evidence as I helped distribute meals throughout the College! The combination of a mask, face shield and the stairs meant the meal service doubled as a work-out.

While the outbreak of COVID obviously has created significant challenges to the smooth operation of St Ann’s, I’m delighted with the way the virus has been contained and managed.

The Residential Tutors have provided excellent support and leadership. Their tireless and constructive efforts, good sense and positive spirit have been nothing short of outstanding.

All students are now out of isolation and College life is returning to normal.

At the height of the COVID outbreak, we faced the major challenge of fielding male and female teams against the other residential colleges in the SAAUCC tennis competition.

The men were hit particularly hard, with only one member of the original and highly talented squad still standing and able to play. But, as they always do, our students rallied to fill the four remaining places, including Harry Langlands and Harry Phillips, who were both first time tennis players.

Our expectations weren’t high going into the competition. But, after a heroic effort, St Ann’s narrowly missed out on stealing second place, going down to Aquinas College in an exciting and closely fought mixed doubles set, decided in a tiebreaker (6-8).


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It was an outstanding effort and result after a trying week.

While COVID no doubt will create further difficulties, you can be assured that the College will continue to maintain the highest standards to manage the virus.

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

COVID-19 Update, February 28 2022

Dear St Ann’s Students and Families,

After a wonderful start to the year we have now unfortunately had a small number of students test positive to COVID-19.

As per our policies and procedures communicated at the end of 2021, students who are COVID-19 positive are asked to return home as soon as possible after diagnosis. This process has already begun with some students being collected today from the College so they can recover safely at home.

Students who are deemed to be close contacts of positive cases are required to have a PCR test and to isolate in their rooms for seven days after contact. These students will have all their meals delivered to their rooms and the use of designated bathrooms away from Covid-negative students. If over their isolation time they test positive they will also then be asked to return home to recover.

Students who are not close contacts of any of our positive cases will be required to wear masks at all times outside of their rooms and are permitted to leave and re-enter the College as normal.

Those very few students who cannot return home to quarantine and recover will be looked after at College with meals, first aid and personal supplies, regular contact, wellbeing checks and specialised healthcare if required.

We are working in close collaboration with SA Health to make sure all our students are safe and well looked after, both physically and mentally. We are in regular contact with everyone who is Covid positive and those who are confined to their rooms to ensure their wellbeing.

At this stage we are looking at cancelling this evening’s Formal Dinner and staggering meal times for those students who are not isolating.

I would like to thank all of the St Ann’s students at this challenging time, particularly the Tutor team. They have all worked incredibly hard to make sure that our set plans and procedures have been implemented with speed and care.

If you have any questions regarding the current situation please don’t hesitate to contact me or the office.

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

COVID-19 Update, July 23 2021

Dear Students,

We know that you are keen to return to College and we are keen to see you.

We have had good news. On the afternoon of Thursday 22 July, St Ann’s College was removed from the list of exposure locations listed by SA Health. We extend our thanks to the team at SA Health for listening to our concerns that we had been listed in error, and for rectifying this. This means we are no longer considered a risk location and students, staff, and any visitors to the College on the 20th of July no longer must get tested, and self-isolate.

However, South Australia is still in Tier 5 restrictions which means all those in South Australia are required to stay in place except for the reasons as set out on the SA Government website here. Currently the ‘lockdown’ is due to end after seven days, but we will monitor any changes to this.   The lockdown is essential to stop the spread of COVID. It is important that you stay where you are and not attempt to return to College. The only exceptions are for those who have permission or exemptions to cross the border during this lockdown period.

I know this is a frustrating time but we ask for your patience and understanding as we all tackle these difficult circumstances. South Australia is doing very well in taking hard and fast actions and hopefully this means that we will see a lessening of restrictions very soon.

Please contact me if you have any further queries.

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

COVID-19 Update, July 22 2021

Dear Students,

As you may be aware, on the afternoon of Thursday 22 July, St Ann’s College was removed from the list of exposure locations listed by SA Health. We extend our thanks to the team at SA Health for listening to our concerns that we had been listed in error, and for rectifying this.

This means we are no longer considered a risk location and students, staff and any visitors to College on the 20th July no longer have to get tested, and self-isolate.

To reiterate, there were no cases of Covid-19 at any time in the College, and we were put on the list as a precautionary measure, which was then revised in line with clearer information.

South Australia is still in Tier 5 restrictions which means all residents of the College are required to stay at home except for the reasons as set out on the SA Government website here. Currently the ‘lockdown’ is due to end after seven days, but we will monitor any changes to this.

We would like to thank the students currently residing in College for their calm composure throughout this stressful time, and for all showing patience in the testing process, and kindness to one another.

Students who are currently residing outside of College and want to come back are advised to touch base with the office to arrange. As St Ann’s is your residence, under the current Covid-19 restrictions, you are permitted to return, but will need written confirmation of this while travelling from your home and back to College.

The students’ health and wellbeing is the top priority for us and if any student or parent has any concerns please do contact me via the office phone.

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

COVID-19 Update, July 21 2021

Dear Students,

As you’ll be aware, the South Australian government has ordered a state-wide lockdown after identifying a number of local cases of COVID-19.

The State Health Department this morning has identified St Ann’s College as a site at risk, because two of our resident students have been in contact with a young woman who has been diagnosed with COVID.

Both students have since tested negative for COVID.

I must emphasise that, at this stage, the measure is a precaution and there are no cases of the virus in the College.
However, in line with government regulations, St Ann’s will be implementing a number of measures to limit, as much as possible, the risk of an outbreak here.
We are currently seeking advice from the State Health Department on the exact arrangements which will need to come into effect. However, in the meantime, please follow these instructions:

• The College is in lockdown for 14 days. We are all required to follow mask-wearing and social distancing regulations. Denise will be lockdown on site with you and will provide further information when it’s available
• The office email is being monitored, but should be used only in urgent individual cases
• If you have general inquiries, please address them in the first instant to the tutors
• Students who are currently outside the College should remain there and not attempt to return. Please make sure you observe all the guidelines for mask-wearing and social distancing indicated by the State Health Department
• You will be advised about the requirements for COVID testing and the arrangements which have been made to carry out these tests

We should all take individual and collective responsibility for making sure the College is a safe place for everyone. Please ensure you act responsibly at all times.

Updates will be provided as further information becomes available. Please don’t hesitate to contact me, I am here to help.

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

COVID-19 Update, July 20 2021

Dear St Ann’s College Students, Families and Community,

South Australia is going into a 7 days of full lockdown as of 6pm, Tuesday July 20, 2021. Please direct all your enquiries regarding this to +61 8 8267 1478 or info@stannacollege.edu.au.

Kind regards,

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

COVID-19 Update, August 1 2020

Dear St Ann’s College Students, Families and Community,

I am extremely proud of the way our staff, students, council and community have managed the immense challenges of Covid-19.

It is hard to believe that Australia has now been living with the pandemic for nearly five months.

Following government directives in March, most domestic students – after discussing the circumstances with their families – returned to their homes. Many of our international students were recalled by their governments and moved off-shore.

The shift outside college walls protected the physical and mental safety of our students, while giving the college, state and nation time to prepare for a Corona virus world.

During this time, our students, both within the College and remotely, put in place a number of initiatives which have helped us all cope with this completely new set of circumstances.

These have included:

  • Academic monitoring of student performances and experiences using Zoom meetings
  • Weekly emails providing information on successful study habits, mental and physical wellbeing tips and social interactions
  • A three-part podcast of an interview with a psychologist offering mental health guidance
  • Assistance with documentation, accommodation and transport for students returning from interstate and needing to enter quarantine
  • Virtual college events

These initiatives have improved student academic performance, kept students engaged and maintained our College community feel.

However after such an extended interruption to our normal activities, we are happy to report that 94% of our college community have now returned. To say there is excitement in the residence halls as our students reunite with their friends is an understatement!

Amid the disruption, we have fared much better than many others. We are fortunate to be in a state that currently is safe from the virus. However we are well aware that complacency can change the trajectory at any time.

St Ann’s has put the necessary protocols in place to ensure the College remains Covid-free and is prepared should infections escalate.

With the college now fully operational, we have instigated a Covid-safe plan which outlines a number of supports – including enhanced cleaning, social distancing guidelines and multiple hand sanitizing stations. Dinners have been divided into two sittings.

With the onset of any slight signs of illness, students must take a Covid test and isolate until results are clear. We have also ordered 300 recyclable masks, due for delivery in mid-August, giving students the option of purchasing personal protective equipment.

The mental and physical wellbeing of St Ann’s students remains our primary focus. Contented and safe students are likely to thrive academically.

Thank you once again to our students and community for your support, understanding and resilience.

The Principal and office staff remain available to all students who have any questions or concerns. Any family members who wish to contact the college should use our email address: info@stannscollege.edu.au


Kind regards,

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

COVID-19 Status, March 26 2020

Dear St Ann’s College Students, Families and Community,

I should like to thank you for your support and understanding during these unique circumstances we are all facing with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which is probably the greatest challenge St Ann’s has faced in its more than 70 year history.

We are meeting the challenge head on and our students have been both flexible and resilient as the impact of the pandemic unfolds. I must congratulate them for responding so responsibly to the rapidly changing circumstances and guidelines.

The latest COVID-19 advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee specifically mentions residential student colleges, advising: ‘Consideration should be given to closing student residential accommodation.’

At this time, we advise that all students who have the opportunity to return home or seek alternate accommodation, do so as soon as possible. Please be aware that as travel restrictions increase and the Covid-19 virus spreads in Australia, the opportunity to return home will diminish. We will continueto support students who for a variety of good reasons, have to remain in the College until directed to do so by the government or the relevant health authorities.

In recent weeks, the management of St Ann’s has held extensive discussions to establish a strategic approach that takes into account all possibilities.

As a result, for the safety and wellbeing of all our students, we have given encouragement and full assistance to everyone who has expressed a wish to return home.

Please be assured we are putting formal processes in place to maintain regular contact with students as they study remotely. We are committed to conducting academic monitoring with every student. We will facilitate and provide links to academic tutors, as well as guidance to help students make the most of their institution’s online learning.

The College has an enviable reputation for supporting students to achieve a high level of academic excellence with a pass rate of more than 90% and up to one third of all students receiving a medal for recording more High Distinctions and Distinctions than any other grade, we are committed – even in these unprecedented circumstances – to supporting students to perform to the best of their ability.

Naturally, the physical and mental health of our students, their families and our staff remain our key priority. We wish everyone well and look forward to seeing all our students back at St Ann’s as soon as we are advised by the appropriate authorities that normal operations can resume.

The Principal and office staff remain available to all students who have any questions or concerns. I also will issue periodic updates to ensure everyone is promptly informed of the latest developments.

Any family members who wish to contact the college should use our email address: info@stannscollege.edu.au


Kind regards,

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

COVID-19 Status, March 16 2020

  • To date, none of our students or staff has tested positive, knowingly been in contact with someone who has had the virus or has any symptoms of the virus.
  • Should students wish to return home immediately, we will support them.
  • Any student with underlying health issues is encouraged to prioritise their safety and return home as soon as possible.
  • If you are feeling unwell for any reason, please notify the office and/or your corridor Tutor or Tutor on duty. Regardless of the reason for your
    illness, you will be encouraged to take meals in your room. Depending upon your symptoms and risk factors, you may be able to continue to
    move around the College or may be asked to further self-isolate until we can arrange to have you tested.
  • Gatherings of more than 99 people are banned; the College strongly recommends parties or gatherings of more than 5 people be reconsidered.
  • It is mandatory that students use sign-in and sign-out sheets in all designated public areas. It is in the best interest of the College as it may mitigate the need for all of us to go into quarantine or isolation.
  • Use the hand sanitisers as you enter and exit the building, corridors and rooms. We encourage you to open windows and fresh air should be used as a preference over air conditioning.

We will continue to monitor the situation and implement changes as soon as they are appropriate, which could include a request for all students who are not required to attend university (and who have a safe transit option) to return home. Our three university partners have largely moved or are moving to online

There is information indicating that the virus is likely to peak in May/June with some form of restriction likely to remain in place until the last quarter of 2020.

We thank you for your understanding at this time. Please contact me should you require additional information or wish to discuss this ever-changing crisis.

Denise von Wald
Principal and CEO

COVID-19 Precautions taken to date and plans for the future

Have received and acted on advice by SA Health

Symptom and action plan flowchart circulated to all senior staff COVID19

Have recommended the cancellation of all College and College Club sanctioned events

Have cancelled all Kitchen Duty

Staggered Meal times A-M first half of meal service N-Z second half

Established procedures and protocols for students who are self-isolating or in

isolation including meal service to rooms of all students wishing or needing to self-isolate

Stocked disposable plates, cup, cutlery for use when students are in isolation

Are disinfecting all stair rails, door knobs, light switches and surfaces in common areas daily (extra vigilance)

Installed 37 Hand Sanitisers around the College (six weeks ago with a regular service contract)

Introduced Social Distancing in common areas, including one empty seat between each person during all meal times

Introduced a Sign in/out Register for all Common Areas

Stopped all overnight guests and short-term accommodation

Introduced a Sign in/out Register for all day visitors to the College

Set up a designated isolation facility at 288 Melbourne Street

Have identified alternative catering options off-site

Have identified deep or pandemic cleaning resources in the event of a confirmed case and temporary closure