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COVID-19 - Update from Council 30 March

From the Mayor & CEO

From the Mayor

Over this past weekend we again saw an escalation in the cases of COVID-19. In Victoria there are now 821 cases, 56 more than yesterday; 29 people are in hospital, including four in intensive care; four Victorians have died as a result of this pandemic.
It is very pleasing to see in and around Southern Grampians Shire that our residents and businesses are taking the messages very seriously and I congratulate all in the community for doing the right thing. For those not doing the right thing and to ‘flatten the curve’, there were more announcements from the Prime Minister and Premier of Victoria on Sunday and today.

Importantly, the number for gatherings of people is now at two only, down from 10 previously. The message from all leaders and mine as well, is the same STAY HOME and only come out for those necessities including food and medicines. We will get through this but it relies on all of us doing the right thing - social distancing at least 1.5 metres apart, practicing excellent hygiene in particular hand washing and using hand sanitiser, and finally if you feel unwell at all – self-isolate and contact medical professionals.

Council is keeping busy with many plans and projects underway and I look forward to eventually hosting community celebrations to open initiatives such as the dog park at Lake Hamilton, upgraded courts in Coleraine and our parks and gardens in Penshurst and Hamilton. There is still so many positive things happening and once we are through this pandemic, we will all celebrate!

From the CEO

Council services continue as per the previous arrangements and announcements with the Government coming out on Sunday and today reinforcing what we have already implemented here in Southern Grampians including the closing of playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment -closures which have been in place here since late last week.

We are trying to be slightly ahead of the curve of restrictions and activities to protect our residents. We know we have a demographic of nearly 25% over 65 years old and if you have underlying health issues, you are most at risk. This is why we have changed our Meals on Wheels arrangements to have staff take over from our wonderful volunteers to keep both our volunteers and our meal recipients safe.

Customer Service and our outdoor workforce remain focussed on our key works and responding to our community. There will be requests and activities that may not be prioritised as most important during these times but I can assure the community that we are capturing all of the community issues and concerns and addressing as best we can. We do have a large amount of office-based staff and others working from home with access to technology and full workplans to ensure business continuity.

I understand that these are confusing and worrying times for all people and our local businesses are no exception. If businesses are unclear of the government requirements or are seeking what support is available please contact our Economic Development team at Council (0409 979 446) for further information and support.

Please continue to contact people via telephone, email and social media channels of all types to make sure we are keeping an eye on our most vulnerable. We are wanting to be on the bottom of this particular league ladder of illness and deaths within our own community as best we can control.

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