Community Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) (18 March 2020)

Published: Wednesday 18 Mar 2020

Council understands that people are rightly worried about the coronavirus pandemic. 

Following expert advice under State of Emergency arrangements

We continue to follow the best, expert advice of the relevant health authorities. Under the Victorian State of Emergency, the lead agency is the Department of Health and Human Services.

Victorian Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos MP said today, “Our decisions are being guided by the very best medical advice – we know that these decisions are difficult and confronting for people, but they are also necessary to fight the pandemic.”

Changes to services and facilities

Based on the most current advice, we have cancelled all non-essential indoor gatherings of 100+ people and non-essential outdoor gatherings of 500+ people. This includes cancelling our performing arts program at the Whitehorse Centre, our citizenship ceremonies and some of our festivals and events. 

A full list of postponed or cancelled services and events is available on our website and will be kept up-to-date. 

Council is also working hard on contingencies to make sure essential services such as waste collection, meals on wheels, childhood immunisation programs and public safety regulation will continue. 

We will maintain our other services as much as possible and where it is safe and appropriate to do so.  

We may change the way we deliver some of our services. From 24 March onwards, childhood immunisation sessions will be by appointment only. Some of our usual face-to-face meetings will be replaced by phone or other ways or remote communication. 

Social distancing and hygiene measures – actions we can take

There are actions we can all take to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

The DHHS website has extensive information on measures we can put in place at home, in our workplaces and in the community. 

  • Practice good health and hygiene: This is the single most effective means of preventing infection. Wash hands often (and after going to the bathroom) with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer. Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes. Cough and sneeze into your elbow, or into a tissue and place in the bin. Avoid shaking hands.
  • If you are feeling unwell, stay home: If you are experiencing any symptoms resembling cold or flu (or caring for an immediate family member who is similarly unwell), please stay at home. Seek medical advice. If you are worried that you might have coronavirus, a telephone hotline has also been set up by DHHS and is operated by the Nurse-on-Call service. Please phone 1800 675 398 to contact the hotline. 

To stay up to date with Council’s coronavirus response

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