Thursday, 19 March 2020

Council has a comprehensive response to the risk of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) with safety and wellbeing of our community and staff the top priority.

Events have been cancelled, services reduced and some facilities closed. We have also developed a $1.1million business support package and a community care package to help those more vulnerable. 

Find out more about our response

Monday, 16 March 2020

Proactively managing the risk: update

In response to the evolving situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19), Council is continuing to take measured precautions to ensure we keep our staff and community safe. We are closely following all advice provided by the Federal and State health authorities and we will continue to update information as it comes to hand.

Incident Management Team

Council has established an Incident Management Team to oversee and coordinate how the organisation is responding to the situation. This ensures consistency and ensures we can respond to the needs of our staff and community.

The team will be constantly monitoring advice and assessing the impact on Council services. We will keep you informed at all times.

Changes to planned events

The Federal government has suspended all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people. All events of this size run by Northern Beaches Council will be suspended or postponed at this time.

We are considering whether smaller events held in Council venues will continue. This will be assessed on a case by case basis. Ongoing updates will be provided to the community as information comes to hand.

The key message is to practice social distance by creating safe spaces around people, this includes no handshaking as announced by the Prime Minister.

Of course, Council does not manage all events on the Northern Beaches and we’ll be working with event organisers who book our facilities and reserves to ensure the best health practices are implemented.

Increased hygiene protocols

Remember the most effective thing you can do is to practice good hygiene. The federal government has launched a new campaign for the community on how to best protect yourself: more info.

Council has increased hygiene protocols at all our facilities, including libraries, aquatic centres and customer service centres including installation of hand sanitiser and posters and stickers with hand washing instructions as well as additional cleaning services.

We will also be asking anyone coming into a Council facility to apply the hand sanitiser provided at the entrance to the building.

Looking after our staff

We value the health and wellbeing of our staff. To support this we are implementing a range of measure to allow our staff to work from home or other locations to promote safe working environments. We are also rolling out the use of technology to encourage teams to work remotely but still collaborate online. This will ensure our critical services are maintained for the community.

Already we have been working with staff to ensure they follow the requirements of the Federal Government if returning to work from overseas.

All the while we have been promoting and training good hygiene and rolling our training for staff.

Helping our vulnerable community members

We are identifying programs to address social exclusion for the elderly and vulnerable community members. Staff are checking in on our customers such as, Meals on Wheels recipients and those who receive our home library services to ensure they are supported at this time.

Local business support

We recognise that the current situation is taking a huge toll on our local business community and we are developing a support plan to try and help them navigate this period. There federal government has announced a range of specific support measures that can be found here.

Friday 6 March, 2020

Given the global situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19), Council is taking measured precautions to ensure we keep our staff and our community safe, closely following any advice provided by the Federal and State health authorities.

The Australia Government Department of Health and NSW Health provide daily updates on their websites.

Read about the covid-19 health alert and in particular, how to protect yourself and others.

You can also learn more about protective measures against coronavirus from the World Health Organization.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade is also updating the Smartraveller website every day.

Council has set up an internal Planning Team that is proactively coordinating Council’s approach to the risk. Business Continuity Plans are being reviewed and updated as required and a measured and precautionary approach is being taken to working with staff who have recently travelled overseas or are in contact with those who have.

One of the key recommendations from health officials is that people maintain good hygiene practices, with 20-30 seconds of warm soapy hand washing regularly, self-isolating when unwell and if concerned, seeking medical advice.

Council is rolling out a series of posters and stickers in public places to provide support and advice on hand washing as well as directions to relevant government websites for more information.


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