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Council services and response to COVID-19

Graphics of people with covering mouth when coughing and washing hands.

We have activated our pandemic and business continuity plans in response to coronavirus COVID-19. Find out the impact on our services.

Thursday 19 March 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council is continuing to provide council services and has activated its regional pandemic plan to respond to coronavirus COVID-19.

“Council is working to support and continue the delivery of key services to our community,” said Darren Fuzzard, Chief Executive Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“Our organisation has a key role to play in an emergency pandemic situation and our focus for the next few months is doing what we can to reduce the impacts of COVID-19.”

“We have activated our pandemic and business continuity plans to ensure we continue to deliver essential services and support the community, while placing priority on the health and wellbeing of our community, staff and volunteers,” he said.

While some Council programs, services and facilities are impacted, most services are running with preventative health and social distancing measures in place to minimise spread of the virus.

Local residents and ratepayers can still access services, however, there are changes to aged care, and maternal and child health services, to protect vulnerable members of the community. Face-to-face social support programs, home exercise programs, and respite services will stop for one month from this week, with telephone support for some programs.

Maternal and child health services, including National Immunisation Program immunisations for children up to six years, including are continuing by appointment. However group programs including New Parents Groups and Sleep and Settling are on hold.

“We are continually monitoring the situation based on advice from the state and federal health authorities,” said Mr Fuzzard.
“At the moment our Customer Service Centre and Visitor Information Centres remain open but please stay away if you feel unwell, and use our phone and online service request system via our website where possible.

The Castlemaine Library and adjacent Phee Broadway Theatre Foyer were closed this week following a decision by the Goldfields Library Corporation to close libraries in the region.

With new limits on non-essential gatherings, Council is seeing more local and community events cancelled. Council has also put public events and activities for volunteers and young people on hold.

“We recognise there is a lot of worry at this time and that we all need to work together to support each other as we prepare for further disruption over the coming weeks and months.

“Please change your daily habits to increase hand hygiene, cover your mouth or nose if you sneeze or cough, and seek medical advice if you show any signs and symptoms.”

“Make a plan on what you and your family would need to do if you had to stay home for a few weeks, and don’t forget to check in on your friend or neighbours that might need help.”

To stay up to date on Council’s response and services visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.

Find up-to-date information on COVID-19 at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.

If you think you may have the coronavirus disease call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. A list of coronavirus detection centres is available on the DHHS website.

The Australian Government Department of Health website is a useful resource at www.health.gov.au.

To reduce your risk of coronavirus infection:

• Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
• Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
• Stay at home if you feel sick. If you take medication make sure you have enough.
• Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep.
• Wearing a face mask is not necessary if you are well.
• Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.


On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic. The Victorian Government declared a State Of Emergency on Monday 16 March 2020.

Australia does not currently have widespread community transmission of the disease. However the situation is changing on a daily basis.

Mount Alexander Shire Council is part of the Northern Victorian Emergency Management Cluster (NVEMC) which takes a regional approach to planning, preparing and responding to an emergencies including a pandemic.

Council adopted the cluster’s Northern Victorian Integrated Influenza Pandemic Plan in November 2019, which can be adapted to all types of communicable disease pandemics.

The plan aims to help reduce the impacts of a pandemic on the community, provide support and recovery assistance throughout the duration of a pandemic, and ensure consistent response across the whole of government.

Council’s role in the initial stages of a pandemic is to support the Department of Health and Human Services and Emergency Management Victoria, in partnership with local health and community service providers.

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