Council has been undertaking preparatory planning concerning Coronavirus (COVID-19) and has had the opportunity for several briefings from State health officials on the pandemic. What is very clear is that most of us will be exposed to some degree at some stage, so we need to prepare as best we can.
What is also clear is that a vaccine to treat the virus will not be available any time soon. The facts are that the virus is not airborne, but rather relies on contact of some form with humans to spread, so we can slow the spread down by practising good personal hygiene:
- Wash your hands regularly – normal soap will suffice;
- Practice good cough/sneeze etiquette. Cough/sneeze into your elbow and not your hands. Your hands tend to touch other things which could transmit the virus.
- Reduce your contact with other people. No handshaking, hugging, kissing etc.
- Practise the same precautions as you do for influenza pandemic;
- Where possible maintain your distance from other people - 1.5 metres minimum distance is suggested if possible.
- Keep your homes and work places clean – normal detergents will kill the virus. Keep benches, tables and surfaces that may be touched by other hands clean. Remember to clean your phone if you tend to put it down on surfaces around the place. Wash your hands regularly after touching surfaces. Think about what you touch in a normal day i.e. auto teller keys, pens, door handles.
- If you are sick – STAY AT HOME – attending a work place puts others at risk;
- IF YOUR CHILDREN ARE SICK – KEEP THEM AT HOME;
- Employers need to send home sick people;
- Do not visit the vulnerable or aged if you have flu symptoms – they are especially at risk; and
- Don’t just walk into doctor surgeries, hospitals or aged care facilities if you are sick. Ring first and then take advice and follow directions.
Above all else, stay calm and practice good hygiene.
Detailed information is available by visiting the Queensland Health website www.health.qld.gov.au or by phoning the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Council is committed to responding to the Coronavirus pandemic and managing the ongoing provision of essential services to the Hinchinbrook community.
In addition to ensuring services continue, staff have increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitisation of public amenities and facilities with a higher community presence such as the Hinchinbrook Shire Library, Visitor Information Centre and the Customer Service Centre at Council’s Main Office in Lannercost Street.
Over the coming weeks Council will continue to monitor the situation closely and act quickly on the advice of health authorities.
If you are feeling unwell please take care of yourself and those around you. If you prefer not to visit Council, staff are always happy to assist you with enquiries over the phone or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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COUNCIL CONNECTIONS - 18 MARCH 2020