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Coronavirus

Updated - 30 July 2020

Wearing a Face Mask or Covering - effective Monday 3 August 2020

As per the recent State Government announcement, all residents in the Southern Grampians Shire and regional Victoria are required, effective Monday 3 August 2020 to wear a face covering when leaving their residence. This includes when accessing Council services and facilities such as HILAC, Library, Gallery etc. Residents are reminded that those who do not wear a face mask or covering will be denied entry to Council facilities and services. Community members are also required to supply their own face mask or covering. For more information, visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-coverings-regional-victoria-coronavirus-covid-19.

Contact Council on 5573 0444 for more information or Visit Greater Hamilton for information on local suppliers for reusable masks.

Red Cross - COVID CONNECT

Red Cross COVID CONNECT is a new national telephone service for the COVID-19 pandemic, to help build social connections and learn ways to better connect with your community.

COVID Connect is for adults of all ages. It is available to anyone and allows for regular access to a friendly human voice, listening ear and tips to improve social connection.

PH: 1800 733 276 www.redcross.org.au

The Red Cross has hundreds of trained volunteers, ready to have a yarn or chat in over 160 languages.

Note: COVID Connect is not a service for people wanting assistance with their mental health or those who require assistance in a crisis.

**Working for Victoria initiative - Job opportunities on offer in Greater Hamilton**

57 new positions are on offer to local workers after funding was received through the State Government’s $500 million Working for Victoria initiative.

The positions are fixed term for six months across a variety of Council functions including cleaning and sanitation, home and community care, town maintenance, waste management, community outreach support, and environmental management.

Southern Grampians is one of 28 Councils across the State who have reached agreement with the State Government to engage those who are unemployed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Interested residents are encouraged to apply for the positions by visiting the Working for Victoria website and registering on the Sidekicker platform (a subsidiary of SEEK). To be eligible to apply you must be legally able to work in Victoria, and are either unemployed or have recently experienced a significant reduction in income.

For more information, please contact Darren Barber, Manager Organisational Development on 55730444 or email dbarber@sthgrampians.vic.gov.au

Register now on Sidekicker, the State Gov’s recruitment partner: https://bit.ly/workforvictoria-sidekicker

Changes to COVID-19 restrictions - from 22 June 2020

The State of Emergency in Victoria has now been extended until 11.59pm 19 July 2020. Please note, for impacted Council Services, see details here.

Victorians will now have the ability to access/attend the following, provided contact details are kept for tracing, density limits of one person per 4m2 apply, physical distancing is maintained, hygiene and additional cleaning practices are completed, and those who can work from home, should continue to do so.

• Households can have up to five guests within the home and up to 10 guests outside the home.
• Auctions and open house inspections are allowed up to 20 people in addition to those required to facilitate and the occupants/owners of the property.
• Bars and clubs can have up to 20 seated patrons per space whilst maintaining density limits. Alcohol can also be served without food.
• Caravan parks and camping grounds with shared facilities such as kitchens and showers can reopen. School camps can also reopen.
• Cinemas, Theatres, and Concert Venues can have up to 20 seated patrons per space, whilst maintaining density limits.
• From 22 June, full contact sports training and competition for 18 years and under, and non-contact competition for all age groups can resume.
• From 13 July, full contact sport training for adults can resume.
• From 20 July, all remaining competition can return.
• Galleries, Museums, Outdoor Amusement Parks and Zoos can have up to 20 people per indoor space. Density limits apply to entire venue. Indoor arcades remain closed.
• Indoor Sports Centres and Gyms can have up to 20 people per space with a limit of up to 10 people per group for adults. Change rooms to reopen.
• Libraries can have up to 20 people in a single space whilst maintaining density limits. Toy libraries to reopen.
• Religious ceremonies and worship - Up to 20 people can attend private worship or small religious ceremonies, plus those reasonably required to conduct the ceremony. Maximum of 20 people in a group.
• Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes can have up to 20 seated patrons per space whilst maintaining density limits.
• Snow season to open.
• Swimming Pools - change rooms and showers to open. No lane limits apply but there can only be a maximum of 20 people in the pool area. Saunas and spas within pool facilities remain closed.
• From 20 July, electronic gaming areas at pubs, clubs and the casino will be reopened with strict distancing, cleaning and hygiene requirements.

See the statement from the Victorian Premier for full details.

Restrictions on Social Gatherings and Non Essential Business Closures

For the full list of Victoria's restriction levels - visit the Department of Health and Human Services.

Schools - Updated 12 May 2020

From Tuesday 26 May 2020, all Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students, specialist school students, as well as VCE and VCAL students can return to on-site learning at government schools. Years 3 to 10 can return to on-site learning from Tuesday 9 June 2020. Read the media statement in full for more information here.

The Department of Education and Training has released learning from home information for parents.

The Department of Transport has also confirmed school speed zones will remain the same across Victoria. From 15 April, a reduced speed limit applies on weekdays within school zones during term time.

Keeping our Community COVIDSafe

The safety of our communities, customers and staff is our top priority.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is working around the clock with health services, the Commonwealth and international agencies to respond to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and to keep the Victorian community safe.

Council is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak to ensure that we are best prepared to respond to any suspected or confirmed cases within our community.

For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the Department of Health and Human Services.

Council Services may or may not be impacted in the near future - Council will be guided the Victorian Government and the Department of Health and Human Services about the appropriate action to take and when.

COVIDSafe App

The COVIDSafe app has recently been released by the Australian Government to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

The App download is voluntary and aims to help keep the community safe from further spread by early notification of possible exposure.

COVIDSafe keeps contact information for 21 days to cover the maximum incubation period and testing time with information only accessible for use by authorised state and territory health officials.

Finding out quickly means you can help protect your family and friends from possible infection and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

You can download the App from the App store here.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness.

The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

For more information, see the Department of Health Coronavirus frequently asked questions.

11 ways to reduce your risk

  • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Physical distance yourself from others where possible by ensuring a distance of 1.5 metres is kept between yourself and others.
  • Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick. If you take medication ensure you have adequate supplies.
  • Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
  • Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, and now is the time to quit smoking. Call the Quitline 137 848.
  • Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.
  • Get the flu shot (available April).
  • Avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing.
  • Stay at home where possible.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing involves changing our social habits to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus. Physical distancing does not eliminate risk of transmission entirely.

You could practice physical distancing by:

  • Keeping a full arm-span (about 1.5 metres) between yourself and other people where possible.
  • Avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others.
  • Avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example non-essential business meetings.
  • Avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing others.
  • Avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.

Help "flatten" the curve

  • Stay/work from home where possible.
  • Avoid public settings where possible.
  • Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home.

You are most at risk if you have:


Travelled Internationally

The situation is evolving rapidly as we find out more about this disease. Increasing numbers of countries including Australia are reporting cases with rapid increases in many places.

As such travellers returning from any country outside Australia are now considered at risk of COVID-19.

All travellers to Australia are now required to self-isolate for 14 days.

If you have returned from international travel in the last 14 days and begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness, you should call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice.

International travel restrictions are now in place with the following exemptions:

You can travel to Australia if you are:
• An Australian citizen
• A permanent resident of Australia
• A New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia
• An immediate family member of Australian citizens and permanent residents

Travel restrictions are subject to change. Visit www.homeaffairs.gov.au for up-to-date travel advice.

Had close contact with a confirmed case

  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus disease (COVID-19) stay at home (self-quarantine).

Elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions

Early indications are that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart and lung disease are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. However, COVID-19 is not limited to elderly and those with weakened immune systems. All ages groups are at risk.

If you feel unwell

  • If you are in any of these risk categories and begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness either during your period of isolation (self-quarantine), or in the 14 days since arriving home from international travel, you should seek immediate medical attention.
  • Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention your overseas travel before you arrive at the doctor’s office so they can prepare appropriate infection control measures.
  • If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000 and ask for an ambulance and tell the operator your recent travel history.

Domestic Travel

Domestic travel restrictions now also apply for travellers and returning residents to the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia. For more information, visit www.australia.com.


Travelled or transited through Iran, mainland China, Italy or South Korea

Anyone who has been in Iran, mainland China, Italy or South Korea in the past 14 days or is a close or casual contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 is at risk of infection.

If you have been in Iran, mainland China (excluding Hong Kong SAR, Macau and Taiwan) Italy or South Korea in the past 14 days you are advised to:

  • stay at home (self-quarantine)
  • avoid public settings - this means you should not attend work, school, childcare or university or go to other public places such as restaurants, cinemas or shopping centres and should not use public transport or taxis
  • do this for 14 days after leaving mainland China, South Korea, Italy or Iran (other than when seeking medical care)
  • only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home.
  • you should stay in a different room to other people as much as possible.
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