Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: 20 March

Published: Friday 20 Mar 2020

We know that the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has people understandably worried. 

What is Council doing?

We want to reassure everyone in our community that Council has activated our Pandemic Response Plan. We are working through our actions from the Plan in a measured, orderly way. Keeping the community and our staff safe and healthy is our top priority. 

Watch the Chinese version of the video

Council is also working hard on contingencies to ensure essential services such as waste collection, meals on wheels, personal care for the elderly and childhood immunisation programs will continue. We will maintain our other services as much as possible, where it is safe and appropriate to do so.  

We are confident that Council is following the best advice of the relevant health authorities. 

Changes to services 

We will be supporting social distancing by changing some of the ways we usually engage with our community, such as changing to online meetings or phone calls. We are also making changes to the way our staff work. We have relocated staff across a number of our sites and moved staff further apart within offices. We encourage our community to use our online services to conduct activities with Council. 

We have lifted the truck curfews, allowing supermarkets the best chance of stocking their shelves for our community.

It is likely that we will make more changes to our services in coming weeks.

Our highest priority will always be the health and safety of the Whitehorse community. Our staff have the community’s wellbeing as their top priority. Please be patient and respectful towards them, and each other through this challenging time. 

Visit the events, services and facilities updates page to see changes to services.

Council updates

We will provide frequent updates about the coronavirus and our response to it in a variety of ways. 
 
We encourage our community to check our website, follow our Facebook page and subscribe to Whitehorse eNews to keep in touch with us. 

Looking after yourself

The two most important messages remain: 

  • Practice good health and hygiene: this is the single most effective means of preventing infection. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap after going to the bathroom. Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Cover your face when coughing or sneezing. Avoid shaking hands. Our own health and hygiene colleagues have prepared a video to explain this. 
  • 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.

If you are concerned that you may have the coronavirus COVID-19, use this self-assessment tool and follow its advice. 

The outbreak is rapidly changing and it is important that you continue to monitor reputable sources for any new information as it becomes available.

For the latest news on the Coronavirus visit the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website. A telephone hotline has also been set up by DHHS. Please phone 1800 675 398 to contact the hotline. This is operated by the Nurse-on-Call service.

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