COVID-19 Update

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5th June 2020

Mid Murray Council response measures to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a global crisis, and our Council has a key role to play in limiting the spread and impact of it.

Council is monitoring the situation very closely, and our primary focus is to protect the health of our community members, visitors and staff and to help minimise the spread of COVID-19. Our leaders are staying up to date on the latest advice from the State and Federal Governments, and relevant Government health agencies.

We are encouraging our residents to also play their part – observe stricter personal hygiene and social distancing, stay away from public places if you’re unwell, be respectful to our staff and others working under stressful conditions and look out for the vulnerable members of your community.

Our key objectives are to:

* Reduce and 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 and the community 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

Council services

The Mid Murray Council has updated a range of measures to its operations as of 29 May in line with the commencement of State 2 of South Australia’s Roadmap to Recovery. These measures are to ensure the health and safety of its staff and the community, while providing the continuity of vital local services.

What services are you reopening?

With the SA Government’s implementation of Stage 2 of its recovery plan from 1 June, Council will begin transitioning to reopening some services. This includes:

  • The Mannum Leisure Centre gym open with limited access during staffed hours 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm only from 1 June.
  • The Mannum Dock Museum from 1 June.
  • Morgan Activity Centre from 1 June.
  • Transitioning to recommencing volunteer activities and programs from 1 June.
  • 1.5 hour cruises aboard the PW Mayflower from the June long weekend.

All Council facilities will have COVID-Safe plans in place, with continued cleaning and additional hygiene measures. Council staff and volunteers will also undergo COVID-Safe training.

For more information, continue reading below.

Can I come to the Council office?

Yes. However - Council is encouraging ratepayers and residents who need to access a service, have an enquiry or pay a bill - to do so online, over the phone or by email if possible and practicable. Council requests that anyone who is feeling unwell does NOT attend its facilities in person, and even for those that are feeling well should follow hygiene and social distancing protocols.

The Blanchetown Community Hub is restricted to opening from 10am to 2pm on Thursdays only, with access to general council and library services and Centrelink services.

Meetings?

All non-essential face to face meetings will be cancelled or postponed. Staff instead will use phone or video meeting and conferencing alternatives where possible and practicable. Essential meetings will require increased hygiene measures including observing social distancing.

Council meetings continue to be held virtually and are live-streamed online for public access.

How can I pay my rates or make a payment?

Cashless payments are preferred at all Council facilities, including offices and transfer stations. Online and phone payment options are also available. Find out more about these options here.

I’m struggling financially. Will I have to pay my rates?

Council understands the community’s anxiety about financial impacts given the economic uncertainty created by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Council is offering assistance options for people affected through its new Rates Hardship Policy and COVID-19 Extraordinary Hardship Relief Plan.

The measures include:

  • Waiving of the 2% fine for late payment of rates for both the June and September 2020 instalments on properties within the Mid Murray Council district;
  • Offering repayment plans (by application) for affected eligible residential and business ratepayers for rates due in June and September 2020 that will include the waiving of interest on rates owed until mid December 2020.

Council is also adopting other support including:

  • Supporting local businesses by reducing payment terms for suppliers to fast-track payment to businesses;
  • Providing commercial leasing relief in negotiation with its tenants in line with the Federal Government’s new Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial leases;
  • Giving consideration on application by community groups whose income has been reduced for assistance with ongoing expenses (ie. utility costs, repairs, etc);
  • Providing alternative payment arrangements such as:
    - Switching to weekly, fortnightly or monthly rate payments via BPAY, phone, CentrePay, direct debit or online;
  • Rate postponement for seniors who are suffering hardship and meet the relevant criteria.

To apply for relief you must complete the form available here: COVID-19 Rate Repayment Plan form

For further information, please contact Rates Officer Julie Caire - 8569 0100 or postbox@mid-murray.sa.gov.au

When will our libraries reopen?

Mid Murray libraries have reopened, with the exception of the Swan Reach School/Community Library, which will remain closed to the wider public at this time.

The library service offered through the Blanchetown Community Hub will be available during the hub’s current opening times of 10am-2pm on Thursdays.

The library service at Morgan, and community access to the school libraries at Mannum and Cambrai, will operate as per their previous regular hours.

Library users can find a range of digital materials including ebooks, newspapers, magazines, audiobooks and more available online via the Libraries SA website.

Are our pools still open?

The Mannum and Cambrai pools have closed to the general public for the season.

Is the Mannum Leisure Centre open?

The Mannum Leisure Centre gym will reopen for use during staffed hours only from Monday, 1 June. It will operate between 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm. A fee will apply for casual users, and existing members can access the facility for free. A one-hour time limit applies to all users and numbers will be restricted to 20 to comply with Government restrictions. Strict hygiene, cleaning and social-distancing measures will also be in place.

What about playgrounds, parks and reserves?

Playgrounds have reopened, but users are reminded that social distancing measures of 1.5m between people and maximum gatherings of up to 10 people still apply.

The Mannum Skate Park has reopened, and our parks and reserves are also open.

Are our transfer stations open?

Yes. Council will maintain usual transfer station opening hours, with electronic payment available as the preferred payment method. Residents are also encouraged to minimise their visitation to the transfer stations where possible.

Are Visitor Information Centres open?

The Mannum Visitor Information Centre and Morgan Visitor Information Office have reopened for counter enquiries.

Mannum Visitor Information Office

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Saturday/Sunday 10am to 3pm - phone enquiries only
Phone 85691303 or 1300 626 686
Email:  mannumvic@psmarion.com

Morgan Visitor Information Office operating only from the Morgan Craft Shop

Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm – phone enquiries only
Phone:  85402643
Email:  morganvio@mid-murray.sa.gov.au

What about other facilities?

The Mannum Dock Museum will reopen from 1 June and the Morgan Craft Shop is also open to the public. The Morgan Activity Centre will reopen from 1 June, but will not offer a food service at this time. (BYO food welcome.)

The Landseer Museum in Morgan will reopen on the June long weekend 10am to 3pm daily.

Day trip cruising will resume aboard the PW Mayflower from the June long weekend.

Our public toilets have been reopened, as have public barbecues.

Can I hire a Council venue for a meeting or event?

Community halls and buildings have reopened, subject to conditions on use. Anyone using these facilities must abide by the current State and Federal Government restrictions, including allowing each person inside a facility 4 square metres of space.

What’s happening with volunteer programs?

With over 300 volunteers, many of whom are within vulnerable groups, Council is mindful of the safety and well-being of all who assist in its programs, facilities and services.

Volunteer programs will progressively resume from Monday, 1 June. Volunteers can choose whether to participate, and will need to undergo COVIDSafe training and abide by Council’s strict hygiene and cleaning measures.

What about campsites and regional travel?

Regional travel for South Australians resumed on 11 May. Council campgrounds are now open. The Towitta Campground pavilion remains closed, but the campgrounds and toilets will be open.

Crown land campsites are also open, along with camping and accommodation facilities in National Parks. Find more information here: https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/news-hub/news/articles/2020/05/camping-available-in-parks

Community events and activities

Several community events have been cancelled or postponed. Please check with event organisers for specific details.

What are you doing to protect Council staff health and well-being?

A number of steps have been taken to protect Council staff’s health and well-being. Non-essential meetings are being rescheduled and staff will be given the opportunity, where possible, to work remotely. Council will maintain a core level of staffing at each site to ensure operations continue to run and services to the community are maintained.

We also have extra measures in place at our sites and facilities to support a clean, safe and well-sanitised environment. Any staff member presenting with cold/flu-like symptoms will be sent home immediately in accordance with government and health agencies advice and direction.

All staff and volunteers will undergo COVID-Safe training and all Council facilities will have a COVID-Safe plan in place, along with strict hygiene and cleaning measures.

Important information

Where can I find out more about COVID-19?

The State and Federal Governments have dedicated resources to provide up-to-date and accurate information to the community.

The Australian Government’s Department of Health COVID-19 website can be found here:

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

SA Health have an 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 or demonstrating symptoms 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 and social distancing.

What should I do if I am feeling unwell?

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

If you have travelled overseas or interstate in the past 14 days and/or have COVID-19 symptoms, seek medical advice and isolate yourself in line with current Government advice and guidelines.

If you are feeling unwell, contact your usual health care provider and avoid contact with others.

Mental health support

If you feel your mental wellbeing is being impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis, support services are available online at:

Lifeline

Beyond Blue

SA Health

Relationships Australia

More information

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

Avoiding COVID-19

COVID-19 Flowchart

Identifying the Symptoms

NOTE: Council will continue to update this information and provide updates via our Facebook page and local media publications. Information will also be displayed at our offices.

Last updated 12.30pm 5 June 2020