COVID-19 Update

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30th November 2020

COVID-19 Update

Restrictions will be altered by the SA Government from midnight Monday, 30 November in response to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 related to the Parafield cluster in Adelaide.

For information on SA’s current restrictions visit: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/

The relevant Emergency Management Directions provide you with the most up to date information in regard to restrictions on activities during COVID-19 in South Australia. The Emergency Management Directions must be adhered to at all times.

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 businesses 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 continues to review its operations and services in line with the latest advice and measures from the SA Government. 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 affected by the latest outbreak?

The following changes have been made to Council facilities and services and will apply from 1 December:

  • The Mannum Leisure Centre will reopen for community group activities and sport.
  • The Morgan Activity Centre will reopen.
  • Public pools will open for the 2020/21 swimming season – please note these will still only open if the daytime temperature is above 25C.
  • All Council volunteer programs and activities will resume in a reduced capacity.
  • All visitor information outlets and Council-run museums are now open.
  • All cruising activities on the PS Marion and Mayflower will resume.
  • The Mannum Markets will be held on Sunday, 6 December.

While Council facilities and services are reopening, people are encouraged not to visit in person if they are unwell, have any Covid-19 symptoms or have been to any locations of concern linked to the current outbreak as identified by SA Health. Masks will be made available at some Council facilities where possible as and additional optional safety measure for people visiting these facilities.

In partnership with SA Health, Council will also have some disposable masks available for the general public for collection at its Mannum, Cambrai and Morgan offices this week. We will update the community once these are available for collection.

Can I come to the Council office?

Council offices are open. 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.

Are you holding meetings?

Council will continue to hold all meetings electronically at this stage. However, this decision will be reviewed regularly in line with the latest advice from the SA Government and SA Health.

Are libraries open?

Mid Murray libraries are open. The Swan Reach library remains closed at this stage, however, the public can call the library on 8570 2053 to make alternative arrangements.

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

Is the Mannum Leisure Centre open?

The Mannum Leisure Centre and Gym are both now open from 1 December.

What about playgrounds, parks and reserves?

Outdoor exercise activities are now permitted under the revised restrictions, however, please ensure you maintain a 1.5m social distance from others.

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.

With this in mind, and in line with the latest advice from SA Health, Council will begin resuming volunteer programs and activities from 1 December.

What about campsites and regional travel?

Regional travel for South Australians is permitted, however, SA Health is still advising people to avoid any unnecessary travel where possible.

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.

We also have extra measures in place at our sites and facilities to support a clean, safe and well-sanitised environment. Where possible, staff are working remotely.

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

How can I pay my rates or make a payment?

Cashless payments are preferred. 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

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/conditions/infectious+diseases/covid-19

For information on SA’s current restrictions, visit:

https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/

Where can I get testing for COVID-19?

Council is urging anyone who has travelled interstate or in the areas affected by the Parafield cluster or who is demonstrating symptoms to check the Australian Government’s self-isolation requirements (www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert) and the SA Government’s requirements (https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/health-advice/expanded-covid-19-testing) 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.

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 30 November 2020