23 March 2020: A message from the Mayor (COVID-19)

24 Mar 2020


"The bushfires brought us together. Don't let the virus push us apart."


The Hills is a caring community and it is important we work together to overcome COVID-19 (Coronavirus) challenges and prioritise the needs of our more vulnerable residents.

As individuals we all have a part to play in slowing the spread of the virus and I thank you for your patience and diligence in putting social distancing measures into effect. For those of you also affected by the Cudlee Creek bushfire, please be assured that we will continue to maintain a focus on our bushfire recovery efforts.

Your Council is implementing a planned response to ensure crucial services to the community can continue, albeit in a limited or changed format, in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff.

Following decisions and announcements from the Federal and State Government in the last 24 hours along with advice from peak health agencies, we have made the decision to suspend the majority of face–to-face interactions through our libraries and community centres.

Book borrowing services are still available via a 'click and collect' service which can be done through the library website, or orders can be made over the phone for collection. We are looking to increase our home delivery service to assist those in need and library chutes are open 24 hours to allow returns.

For those customers requiring personal assistance to search for reading materials or who need to conduct other Council business, facilities will still be available at this time at Gumeracha, Woodside and Stirling as below (observing necessary social distancing recommendations).

WOODSIDE & STIRLING

9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday
10am to 1pm Saturday

GUMERACHA

9 am to 12 noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday
2pm to 5pm Tuesday and Thursday

Other measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 in our community include temporary suspension of some services and cancellation or postponement of events, activities or programs that present a risk to public safety.

Where possible we are exploring options for the delivery of programs, consultations, networking and cultural activities to our community through online forums and platforms, while acknowledging that not everyone has online access. The implications of social distancing are greater for people who are already socially isolated so we are coordinating a program of phone contact for our elderly residents.

The following services have been suspended for the foreseeable future with our staff focusing on alternative ways to serve those impacted:

· Mobile library service
· Programs delivered at the libraries, community centres and Positive Ageing centre
· Community bus services
· Booking of community rooms in Council facilities

As Australia faces this ongoing challenge, the impact on many of our businesses is likely to be significant. Our businesses are the essence of our region offering greatly valued employment, services and experiences. We encourage all our residents to support them in any way you can, as they find new and innovative ways to continue. For our business owners, we encourage you to keep a watchful eye on a couple of important links that may provide some assistance during these challenging times:

As of Monday 23 March we have reduced the number of staff in our offices to conform to social distancing recommendations as well as ensuring business continuity in the event of staff illness.

The situation in Australia and South Australia is constantly changing so it is important to keep up to date and take heed of all health and travel advice from the Federal Department of Health and SA Health website.

Visit Council's COVID-19 information page, call 8408 0400 or follow our social media channels for more information.

In closing, I would like to share with you some comments made at a recent Bushfire Recovery Committee meeting in Woodside. One committee member, who has worked extensively with people affected by the disaster across the whole district, asked to make a statement. Coming from the Adelaide plains he said he was greatly moved by the incredible sense of community support he'd witnessed across and outside the fire scar. He had never experienced it to this extent during thirty years living in South Australia and he congratulated our Adelaide Hills communities for developing such a culture, despite the distances between the townships and isolation of some households.

Take great care in this time of change and uncertainty, as individuals, families and community members. Hold fast to the values that bind us and we will come through this crisis together.

Dr Jan-Claire Wisdom

Mayor
Adelaide Hills Council


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