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Coronavirus

Updated -25 March 2020

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.

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.

Prime Minister Media Statement - 24 March 2020

"Australians should stay at home, unless shopping for essentials, travelling to and from work - where you cannot work from home, going to school and exercising. Keep visitors to your home at a minimum. In outdoor spaces do not congregate in groups," Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison.

24 March 2020 - Media Statement

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.

Restrictions on Social Gatherings and Non Essential Business Closures

The following facilities have been restricted from opening from 23 March 2020:

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).
  • Restrictions on entering aged care homes to protect older Australians

Additional Restrictions on Social Gatherings and Non Essential Business Closures

As of 11.59pm Wednesday 25 March 2020

  • Cafes are restricted to takeaway service and home delivery only.
  • Cafés or canteens at hospitals, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless, workplace canteens that can provide takeaway are exempt.
  • Food courts are restricted to delivery and takeaway only.
  • Auction houses, real estate auctions and open house inspections (with the exception of private appointments for inspection) will be closed.
  • Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas and massage parlours will be closed.
  • Hairdressers and barber shops are restricted to up to 30 minute appointments and the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies in the premises.
  • Cinemas, nightclubs, casinos, gaming or gambling venues, amusement parks and arcades, play centres (indoor and outdoor) will be closed.
  • Health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres, social sporting-based activities, and swimming pools will be closed.
  • Community and recreation centre facilities may remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services.
  • Boot camps, personal training operating outside may continue for now if limited to groups of no more than 10 people and social distancing must be exercised.
  • Galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites, libraries, community centres, and youth centres, local government non-essential facilities and services (such as libraries and pools) and community facilities (such as community halls, clubs, RSLs, PCYCs) to be closed.

Places of Worship, Weddings and Funerals

Weddings may proceed only with a maximum attendance of no more than 5 people and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies.

Funerals may proceed only if attended by a maximum of no more than 10 people and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies.

Schools

School Holidays for students in Victoria started Tuesday 24 March 2020. Please contact your child/ren's relevant school for further information.

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.

Further information

For further information and updates on the coronavirus please visit the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) dedicated website.

If you suspect you may have the novel coronavirus, please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398.

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