In summary

  • Dean of the School of Health Sciences Professor Bruce Thompson (also known as ‘the lung guy’) is regarded as an international expert on clinical respiratory management  
  • He shares his top tips for staying safe as we make a return to campus 
  • Professor Thompson says we can get back to creating and collaborating together safely. It’s all about the basics: hand hygiene, mask-wearing, distancing and continuing to check-in  

At Swinburne, we’re excitedly awaiting your safe return to – or first experience on – campus. To help do that, we asked Swinburne’s Dean, School of Health Sciences, Professor Bruce Thompson, for his top tips for staying safe on campus.  

1. Have a dose of fun 

This one’s important. Creativity, collaboration and really connecting with each other is what life at Swinburne is all about – in fact, it’s what life’s all about full stop. Professor Thompson says that with our protocols and vaccination rates, being out and about and on campus is safe – and it’s time we learn to live alongside the virus. Equally though, if you’re feeling anxious we’re here to help. Swinburne offer a range of health and wellbeing services for students and for staff.  

Let's get back to creating a better tomorrow. 

2. Hand hygiene is still hero 

According to Professor Thompson, one of the most important things you can do is practice good hand hygiene.  

”Carry a hand sanitiser with you at all times so you can easily clean your hands when needed,“ says Professor Thompson.  

But the responsibility is not all on the individual. There’s a lot we’re doing at Swinburne to help keep you safe, too.   

”There are COVIDSafe protocols and cleaning guidelines in place to keep our community safe on campus,“ he says.  

Interested in learning more about health and hygiene? Take a look at our health courses. 

Two of these items will help keep you safe from COVID-19.  Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash 

3. Checking in? Check!  

As life starts to feel a little bit normal again, especially with the further easing of restrictions, for some of us, that means our anxiety dissipates. And this can lead to complacency with things like checking in.  

”Checking in, QR codes and practicing hand hygiene will continue to be part of our lives in some settings and it is important that we abide by these guidelines to keep our community safe,“ says Professor Thompson.   

At Swinburne, checking in is especially important as it allows us to quickly pinpoint any active cases on campus and minimise the risk of infection and disruption to our community. So please, keep up the good work!  


For those who thought QR codes would never take off in Australia, they’re here to stay for now – especially at Swinburne.  Photo by sentidos humanos on Unsplash

4. Not feeling 100%? 100% stay home

Gone are the days (and the phrase) of ‘soldiering on’. The infrastructure for flexibility and blended connectedness is well-established. So if you’ve got even the slightest of sniffles and can’t get your hands on a rapid-antigen test, it’s best to stay home. Everyone will thank you for it later.  

”If you’re not feeling great, stay home! That’s perfectly fine,“ says Professor Thompson.  

Feeling like this? Probably best you don’t come to campus (unless you’re 100 per cent certain, and RAT verified, that it’s only because you stayed up until 3am watching Olympic figure-skating).  Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash  

5. Treat your mask like your underwear  

While the rules around face masks indoors were relaxed from 11.59pm on Friday 25 February, masks will still be required in certain settings, including public transport, hospitals and primary schools, and for workers in hospitality, retail and large events. So, mask-wearing will still be a part of our lives. Professor Thompson says you should treat your mask like your underwear. Sound obscure? Let us explain.  

You might not keep your underwear in your pocket or handbag, but you should certainly keep it clean and not reuse it. If you wear cloth masks, Professor Thompson suggests having a few that you can cycle and wash throughout the week. As for N95 masks, Professor Thompson says they’re not necessarily for everyone.   

”N95 do provide additional protection. But they need to be fitted very tightly,“ he says.  

The catch? They’re not reusable.   

”Ultimately, you’ve got to assume that it’s become infected once you’ve used it. You treat them like your already worn underwear. Don’t touch them or share them or reuse them.“  

What do underpants and face masks have in common? More than you might think.  Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash 

6. Give yourself a boost 

Make sure you stay up to date on your vaccinations. Not only does it keep you and your community safer, you also need to be up to date (or hold a current medical exemption) if you want to undertake on-campus activities. Read more about our on-campus protocols.   

Staying up to date helps keep everyone safe. Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash

We look forward to welcoming you back! Learn about our on-campus protocols that are in place at all of Swinburne’s campuses, COVID-19 updates, and make sure you keep an eye on our cases and affected sites. 

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