Transmittable Illnesses




Red Earth Transmittable Illness Policy


Updated 23/11/23


This policy is in place to protect travelling students, teachers, Red Earth staff and community partners. Red Earth has consulted with State or Territory Governments and relevant statutory bodies to ensure we are following all recommendations and are adhering to restrictions.


Transmittable illnesses can be cause by a variety sources — such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Commonly transmittable illnesses are passed from person to person or consuming contaminated food or water or being exposed to organisms in the environment. High hygiene standards are essential to maintain the health and well-being of all parties on the program.


Red Earth has developed a comprehensive risk assessment policy for Transmittable Illnesses related risks to best inform safe practices on an immersion. Red Earth Leaders have been trained in the updated policies and procedures to best mitigate the associated risks for participants.


Illnesses with management strategies outlined in this policy:

  • Covid-19/Influenza
  • Gastrointestinal illness (gastro)


Red Earth reserves the right to alter the itinerary for the safety of all stakeholders. 


Covid-19/Influenza Response Protocol


What is Covid-19?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

COVID-19 symptom guidelines:

  • A temperature or fever of 37.6C or over (must be taken with an oral thermometer)
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat


What is Influenza?

Influenza (the flu) is a viral infection affecting your nose, throat and sometimes your lungs.


How is it contracted and how it spreads?

Covid-19 & Influenza can be contracted by:

  • Direct contact such as by touching each other.
  • Indirect contact such as by touching contaminated objects or surfaces. When people with the virus sneeze, cough or touch surfaces, they may leave infected droplets on these surfaces. The virus can survive on these surfaces for several hours to a few days.
  • Close contact through the mouth or nose secretions of infected people
  • Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling droplets that contain the virus.


What to do if a group member has contracted Covid-19 or Influenza?

If an individual or a community member shows symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during the immersion the below process will be followed. These guidelines consider a normal temperature reading to be between 36–37.5C, and the reading can consider:

  • The person and their age
  • What they’ve been doing
  • The time of day
  • Which part of the body the reading is taken from

If an individual exhibits 2 or more COVID-19 symptoms (as listed above), the following steps will be taken immediately:

Covid-19/ Influenza Response Flowchart

Gastro Response Protocol


What is gastro?


Gastrointestinal illness (gastro) is a bacterial or viral infection (depending on the type) in the stomach and intestines, which causes vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramping, lethargy, and fever.


How is it contracted and how it spreads?


Gastro can be contracted by:

  • Ingesting faecal matter where the bacteria is present (through poor hygiene, not washing hands after toileting and before eating, or exposure to unclean animals).
  • Drinking contaminated water.
  • Ingesting food which has been contaminated by flies or soil where the bacteria is present.
  • Using a toilet facility which had been used previously by someone who had the bacteria in their faeces.
  • Gastro is contracted and spread by physical contact with the bacteria or virus leading to the agent entering the body.
  • Gastro can have an incubation period of 24-72 hours, depending on the type contracted.


What to do if a group member has contracted gastro?


  • Firstly, measures to avoid group members contracting gastro should be adhered to in accordance with the hygiene and food standards employed by Red Earth.
  • If a group member is suspected of having gastro and is exhibiting the symptoms outlined, then the following processes must be put in place immediately:


Gastro Response Flowchart





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