Loddon Shire Council's response to Coronavirus
Published on 30 March 2020
As the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, Loddon Shire is constantly reviewing operations to ensure the safety of staff, councillors, contractors, volunteers and the community.
Council is committed to being the most proactive it can be while recognising that our response to COVID-19 may result in the delay of projects and changes in service levels. We ask for understanding from the community as we work to provide services as best we can.
While many events and services are being limited, postponed or even cancelled to help slow the spread of the disease, essential services will continue. Close personal contact allows the virus to spread so social distancing is being promoted by the Shire. Everyone has a role to play in protecting themselves and their family.
Another way to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 is to reduce unnecessary face-to-face contact. For this reason, Council’s offices will be closed to the public and customer service at Wedderburn and Serpentine will now be delivered by phone or email, and in certain circumstances by appointment.
If you are sick or have been in contact with someone who is sick, please do not go into public places. Seek medical attention, but call ahead first. If unsure, call the Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080. This line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The effects of the cancellation of events and social distancing will be far-reaching. We can still support local businesses by shopping locally, purchasing locally using online methods and generally showing support to small businesses who will be feeling the pinch.
We encourage our community to be patient and understanding as many businesses and other services are working hard to understand how best to support their communities. Let’s also keep an eye out for each other. Have you checked in with your neighbour, do those around you need help to understand what is happening, are there other ways you can keep in touch with people who are reducing their physical social contact?
Council is responding to this evolving situation and is taking advice from State and Federal Government departments. Visit our website www.lodddon.vic.gov.au for updates to Council services, and for comprehensive updates on COVID-19 visit the Department of Health and Human Services website: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
The following services have been changed until further notice:
- Council’s Wedderburn and Serpentine Customer Service Office will be closed to the public from 19 March 2020. Customer service will be provided by phone on 5494 1200, and by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and in certain circumstances by appointment.
- Due to the temporary closure of Council customer service offices, customers are currently not able to make payments over the counter, but there are many other methods available. These include:
Diabetic sharps containers - due to the closure to the public of the Wedderburn Office, we are no longer able to dispose of Diabetic sharps containers. We have now relocated the disposal and collection site in Wedderburn to the Wedderburn Pharmacy. All other disposal sites are still active until further notice.
- Library services
- The Goldfields Library Corporation has advised that the Tarnagulla and Dingee agencies are closed. Borrowbox is available for borrowing books online. Download the free “borrowbox” app and use your library membership number for access.
- Discussions are being held with the remaining library agencies about their service availability due to the agencies being co-located in buildings with other services.
- Information technology and telephones are in place to provide staff with greater flexibility to work remotely as the need arises.
- Essential services such as waste, community safety, building and planning, and public amenities will continue to operate but service and staff levels will be continually monitored and community notified of any additional changes. Residents and customers are encouraged to use phone or email in the first instance.
- Community care services are being reviewed to determine how they can still deliver services while protecting the vulnerable residents in their care as well as their staff. Some activities such as social support groups and centre-based meals will be suspended for now, while others will be modified in response to changing requirements. Clients will be contacted for individual changes and staff will undertake specific training to meet the evolving situation.
- The Visitor Information Centre at Wedderburn will be closed. Phone and email enquiries will be responded to.
The following services will continue to operate in line with advice from the Victorian Government and Chief Health Officer:
- Aged and disability care
- Early years services (kindergartens will remain open upon advice from Department Education and Training)
- Maternal and child health services
- Emergency management
For further information on Health and Wellbeing, click here.