Mashiro Kobayashi and Leanne Harrold outside SCU's Lismore campus, where Mashiro has been attending a college exchange program.
Mashiro Kobayashi and Leanne Harrold outside SCU's Lismore campus, where Mashiro has been attending a college exchange program. Rebecca Lollback

'It is worrying': SCU students concerned about coronavirus

THERE was some confusion at Lismore's Southern Cross University this morning, as students arrived for lectures only to find the campus was closed.

SCU announced it had shut down both the Lismore and Gold Coast campuses after a staff member tested positive to coronavirus (COVID-19).

But it seems not everyone got the alert.

Byron Bay man Jonathon Manitta is in his fourth year of a civil engineering degree at SCU.

Byron Bay man and SCU civil engineering student Jonathon Manitta.
Byron Bay man and SCU civil engineering student Jonathon Manitta. Rebecca Lollback

He arrived and was surprised to find the uni closed.

I had no idea...I guess I didn't get that memo," he said.

It was not his first encounter with coronavirus -- he said there was a recent scare on the Pacific Highway upgrade, where he was doing work experience as part of his degree.

"About a month ago, everyone was sent home," Mr Manitta said.

"The health department advised a select few of us to stay isolated for two weeks."

Mr Manitta said it was a concern to see the coronavirus now so close to home.

"It is very much a worry," he said.

"All of a sudden it's here and it's worrying in that respect.

"It was overseas and now it's on our doorstep

"But you have have faith in the systems and protocols and hopefully it can be contained."

Alstonville woman Leanne Harrold is hosting Japanese student Mashiro Kobayashi, and they arrived at the university this morning ahead of a planned outing for the college exchange program.

Mashiro Kobayashi and Leanne Harrold outside SCU's Lismore campus, where Mashiro has been attending a college exchange program.
Mashiro Kobayashi and Leanne Harrold outside SCU's Lismore campus, where Mashiro has been attending a college exchange program. Rebecca Lollback

Ms Harrold said she hadn't been informed of the uni's closure.

"If they have a confirmed case (of COVID-19), then it's understandable," she said.

"But we weren't told anything."

Sarah Daynes, a first year Marine Science student, thought he was late for a class as was rushing up to campus when she realised the university was closed.

SCU Marine Science student, Sarah Daynes.
SCU Marine Science student, Sarah Daynes. Rebecca Lollback

"I've just been in such a rush because I was studying... I hadn't checked by emails," she said.

"I hadn't really thought about it (coronavirus) until today. I'm not really worried, they are just doing what they need to do."



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