I am confident that the organisation has thorough plans in place to respond to the rapidly evolving Coronavirus situation as it unfolds. The health of the community, City staff and volunteers will be the top priority in all decision making, and decisions will be made based on the latest advice from the Department of Health and Human Services.
We encourage members of our community to be calm and careful. There are many simple precautions you can take to help prevent the spread of the virus, including regular hand washing with soap and water, and covering the mouth if coughing or sneezing.
We also encourage everyone to plan for how you and your family, including pets, would manage if you needed to stay at home for two to three weeks. If you are feeling unwell, please contact your GP or the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. We will keep the community well informed of any impacts to City services via the Geelong Australia website.
The City is well prepared to respond to any possible impacts of the coronavirus on our employees, volunteers, services and community. We have devoted significant resources to be able to respond quickly and decisively to any escalation of the outbreak.
Based on advice from the Department of Health and Human Services, we are aiming to minimise face-to-face contact wherever possible. This is designed to protect the health of our staff and to help reduce and slow the spread of the virus in the community. In turn, this provides us the best chance of continuing to deliver our many crucial services.
As part of this, we have made a decision to support our employees to work from home where it is operationally possible. We have also made the decision to postpone, cancel or find alternative ways to deliver city-led events in the short-term.
For example, all City-run Geelong Design Week events have been cancelled. We have postponed a citizenship ceremony scheduled for Monday evening at City Hall and a planned parenting forum for 400 people in Barrabool next Wednesday. We have notified Pakington Street traders that our drop-in sessions regarding the draft Pakington Street Urban Design Framework have been cancelled, but we will extend the online feedback period to compensate.
We are also considering our approach to council meetings and how we might use technology to maintain public access to the council’s decision-making. This may mean rescheduling our Community Focus council meetings to City Hall so that they can be live streamed.
For local information, including the latest event information, please visit www.geelongaustralia.com.au For health advice and up to date information from DHHS, visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus