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Southern Mallee District Council response measures to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented event in recent history.  

Southern Mallee District Council has a key role to play in limiting the impact of COVID-19 and is monitoring the situation very closely.

Council’s primary focus is to protect the health of residents and staff and to help minimise the spread of COVID-19. Evidence from around the world has shown that pre-emptive measures are extremely effective in containing the spread of the disease.

Our key objectives are to:

* Contain the impact of the disease

* Maintain a healthy workforce

* Provide leadership to the community

* Keep residents and business informed about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it

We encourage residents to:

* Remain calm

* Follow all state and federal government advice

* Implement social distancing measures, but not social isolation

* Look out for each other, check on your neighbours and provide assistance where necessary

It's important to remember, this is an extremely fluid situation and events are changing daily.

Council services

Effective 19 March 2020 Southern Mallee District Council has implemented the following range of measures to its operations. These measures are in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure the health and safety of its staff and the community, while providing the continuity of vital local services.

Details of this are set out below:

Can I come to the Council office?

NO. Council’s Pinnaroo and Lameroo offices will be closed to the public. Council staff are still working and residents can contact staff by email or telephone for enquires and payments can be made over the phone or online. Council’s two depots are also closed to the public. This arrangement will be reviewed weekly.

Meetings?

Council staff will not be attending any non-essential meetings outside the Council area until further notice. Opportunities to join meetings by web-link will be utilised.

Council staff will not be attending any non-essential local community meetings until further notice.

Council hosted meetings will be cancelled or postponed until further notice.

Are our libraries still open?

Council supports library services in Geranium, Lameroo, and Pinnaroo. These facilities are managed by the Department of Education and therefore we are taking the advice from the State Government on this. In the meantime, we would encourage everyone (where possible) to set themselves up with OneCard membership whereby they can access free online borrowing/reading.

Are our pools still open?

NO. The two Council-run swimming pools in Lameroo and Pinnaroo will be closed for the season, with opening dates for next summer to be outlined at a later date.

Are our transfer stations open?

Council will maintain usual transfer station opening hours however payment must be made online or by phone after an invoice is issued. Cash payments will not be accepted. Residents are also encourage to minimise their use of the transfer stations.

What about our public toilets and other facilities?

OPEN. Council will keep all public toilets open and has increased the cleaning frequency of all public toilet facilities.

Will formal monthly council meetings still go ahead?

Council held its March ordinary meeting on 18 March 2020. A decision will be made in early April about the next meeting scheduled for 15 April 2020.

Is childcare still open?

YES. The Pinnaroo COGS and Lameroo COGS both remain open. Staff have implemented some changed practices to reduce risk to children, staff and community. No new casual bookings are being accepted. State and Commonwealth advice will continue to be monitored.

Is the Parilla accommodation facility open?

YES. The Parilla accommodation facility remains open. Staff have implemented some changed practices to reduce risk to guests, staff and community. Cleaning of the facility will be increased and information will be provided to guests. Relevant advice will continue to be monitored.

Community

Community events and activities

Council is working closely with community groups. Council is encouraging all non-essential community events to be cancelled or postponed. Council is also working with community groups located in our community buildings to close until further notice. For example the Pinnaroo community gym and the Lameroo cinema have now closed. Council will waive any community rental for the period of closure.

Should my sporting club carry on with its season?

Most rural and regional sporting events, large and small are being cancelled and postponed. However, we suggest following the advice of your sports code authority (ie. SANFL, Netball SA, Cricket SA, Tennis SA, Bowls SA and others).

Health related business in Council’s community facilities

Council rents some of its community building spaces to health related businesses or essential services, such as the dentist and vet. These business are often essential to our community. Council will support these businesses to make case by case decisions about whether to remain open.

Staff

Council staff wellbeing?

Council is implementing a range of measures to support staff and in some instances this will include working from home or leave in the event of unexpected health issues with children, elderly relatives or themselves. We also have extra measures in place around the office to support a clean, well-sanitised environment. Any staff member presenting with cold/flu-like symptoms will be sent home immediately unless they have medical clearance.

Important information

Where can I find out more about COVID-19?

We suggest starting with SA Health. They have a great online portal set up with information for individuals, business, health workers and every other interest group. Follow the link here:

https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/health+topics/health+topics+a+-+z/novel+coronavirus

Where can I get testing for COVID-19?

Council is urging anyone who has travelled overseas to check the Australian Government’s self-isolation requirements online (www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert) and for the community as a whole to observe stringent personal hygiene practices.

Should I send my child to school/childcare?

We suggest following the advice provided by your school or centre – they each have management plans for scenarios such as this and if closures occur, will be in line with policies set by the schools themselves, or by the Department for Education and Child Services. For updates, see here: https://www.education.sa.gov.au/supporting-students/health-e-safety-and-wellbeing/coronavirus

What should I do if I’m feeling unwell?

If you are severely unwell, such as having difficulty breathing, call 000 (Triple Zero).

If you have travelled anywhere overseas in the past 14 days and have COVID-19 symptoms, seek testing at a COVID-19 clinic or contact your GP (advise your GP of your travel history) and isolate yourself.

If you have NOT travelled overseas recently, but are feeling unwell, visit your usual health care provider. Avoid contact with others if you are unwell.

More information

Contact the National Coronavirus Information Hotline on 1800 020 080 for information about COVID-19.

NOTE: Council will continue to disseminate information via our Facebook page and in local media publications. Information will also be displayed on our office doors or on public notice boards.

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