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COVID-19: East Gippsland - the way we do business now

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the reliable source of up-to-date information on the coronavirus COVID-19.

 

You can follow them on social media, or regularly check their website for updates.

The department will have updates on the number of known cases, their locations and how to limit your risk of exposure.

 

On Monday 16 March a State of Emergency was declared for Victoria. This gives the Victorian Government additional powers under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act. 

 

East Gippsland - the way we do business now

East Gippsland Shire residents, businesses, Councillors, staff and the communities in which we live have been hit hard over recent years – by below average rainfall;  timber, fishing and farming industry transitions; the 2019/20 summer bushfires and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

We have been there for our community through all these events and now we have a plan for our gradual transition out of the Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Victorian Government.

 

Our plan, East_Gippsland_The_way_we_do_business_now.pdf is designed to be dynamic and will be reviewed in response to government announcements and other changing circumstances. It will build on what we have learned about delivering our services since the pandemic began and sets out what Council will do to emerge from Stage 3 restrictions in a way that benefits our community, supports our people and continues to safeguard the health and wellbeing of both.

 

Update - 29 May 2020 

We welcome the easing of COVID-19 restrictions announced by the Premier on Sunday 24 May. During the pandemic, we have developed our ‘East Gippsland – the way we do business now’ plan, which means we can now reinstate some services.

Our decision to reopen facilities and services is in line with advice from the Chief Health Officer and the Victorian Government’s easing of restrictions announced 24 May. 

 

 What we know – from 26 May

  • From 11.59pm on 25 May, public playgrounds, outdoor communal gym equipment, skateparks and dog off-leash parks will re-open. ‘Closed’ signage will be removed. Physical distancing and group limits remain, but the latter has increased to 20 people.
  • We have completed a deep clean of our playgrounds, but these will not be cleaned daily.
  • Toilets associated with playgrounds remain closed and will be progressively opened. Please refer to our website for a list of public toilets that are now open.
  • We continue to recommend that people do not use public water fountains and bubblers.
  • We ask members of the community to be diligent with their hygiene practices in public areas.

What we know – from 1 June

From 11.59pm on 31 May a range of eased restrictions will come into effect.

We are working towards ensuring that we can open the appropriate services in a safe and sustainable manner.

We will announce details of when and how other services, not reopening as listed below, will reopen ASAP and provide these details via our social media channels, website and COVID-19 community newsletter.

Below are the confirmed services coming back on-line from 1 June.

 

Caravan Parks

Recreation Centres

Visitor Information Centres

 

Library services

  • The Bairnsdale Library will return to normal opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 6pm; Saturday, 9.30am – 12pm.
  • Sanitisers will be available at entry and exit points, as well as various locations throughout the library.
  • Customers to be able to access and browse our collection and make selections without the assistance of staff, if sanitisers are used.
  • In order to ensure we comply with Victorian Government requirements some restrictions will still apply inside the library:
    • 20 people allowed in the library building at any given time
    • The name and contact details of people entering the library will be recorded to assist with contact tracing should it be required.
    • Internet facilities (available computers and access on personal devices) will be available for a maximum 30 minutes per customer.
    • Restricted numbers and social distancing rules apply – please be patient and follow the visual aids.
  • Our contactless library and online services, included story time, rhyme time and e-books, will continue.
  • Satellite libraries (at customer service centres) will remain closed until further notice as part of a staged re-opening process.
  • The mobile library service remains suspended until further notice.

Caravan parks

 The below listed free and paid parks will reopen on 1 June.

All park amenities blocks will remain closed for the below sites in line with Victorian Government restrictions.

All bookings must be in fully self-contained accommodation, including a toilet and cooking facilities.

 

Cann River Rainforest Caravan Park and and Genoa Rest Area Campground:

  • Time limit restrictions of an overnight stay remain in place.

Swifts Creek Caravan Park:

  • Bookings must complete a COVID-19 site registration form before arrival and/or on site before a booking is accepted

Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park:

  • Bookings will be spaced with at least 1 free site between each booking.
  • Bookings must fill out a COVID-19 site registration form before arrival and/or on site before a booking is accepted.
  • Payments will be card only.
  • Dump points will be available within the park.
  • Moorings and jetty bookings are limited.
  • Social distancing measures will be in place at the main office.
  • All other park terms and conditions apply. Prices are not fixed and subject to change. Please contact the park for a quote.

Eagle Point Caravan Park:   

  • Bookings will be spaced with at least 1 free site between each booking.
  • Self-contained 12-month permit dwellings can be occupied by permit holders.
  • Cabins will be available for bookings.
  • Bookings must fill out a COVID-19 site registration form before arrival and/ or onsite before a booking is accepted.
  • Payments will be card only.
  • Dump points will be available within the park.
  • Social distancing measures will be in place at the main office.
  • All other park terms and conditions apply. Prices are not fixed and subject to change. Please contact the park for a quote.

Recreation centres 

The Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre and Lakes Entrance Aquadome will reopen for pre-booked lap swimming only from 1 June, in line with Victorian Government restrictions.

 

Opening times:

  • Monday to Friday – 6am to 9am
  • Saturday – 9am to 12pm
  • Sunday – closed
  • Both centres will be closed on Monday 8 June (public holiday)

How to pre-book your lap swimming session:

  • Book your session online via our website (visit the ‘Lap lane availability’ page) prior to attending the centre and follow the prompts.
  • No bookings or payments will be made on site. You must book online prior to attending the centre.
  • All bookings must fill out a COVID 19 site registration form (preferably prior to arriving, available on our website) before arrival and pass this onto customer service upon attending your session and registering onsite.
  • Sessions will only be available in 1-hour blocks (45 minutes in the water and 15 minutes to enter and leave the facility).
  • Individuals can only book 1 session a day. Bookings will be open 72 hours prior and close at 3pm the day prior to each lap swim session.
  • Members and casual users will pay a fee per session.
  • All memberships will remain suspended until the facility is fully reopened.
  •  Other information:

  • Only 20 people will be allowed in the pool hall at one time.
  • Only three people will be permitted per lane.
  • No access to showers, changerooms or lockers.
  • The gym, spa, sauna, warm water / shallow pools and cafe remain closed, and swim school remains suspended.
  • Social distancing measures will be in place.
  • Facility terms and conditions still apply.

Visitor Information Centres

The Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance Visitor Information Centres propose to re-open on Saturday 6 June for the long weekend.

Opening details (subject to change due to demand and volunteer capacity) until 28 June as follows.

 

Bairnsdale:

6-8 June (long weekend): 10am – 4pm

9-12 June: 10am – 4pm

13-14 June: Closed

15-19 June: 10am – 4pm

20-21 June (ski season opening weekend): 10am - 4pm 

22-26 June: 10am – 4pm

27-28 June: Closed

 

Lakes Entrance:

6-8 June (long weekend): 10am – 4pm

9-12 June: Closed

13-14 June: 10am – 4pm

15-19 June: Closed

20-21 June: 10am – 4pm

22-26 June: Closed

27-28 June: 10am – 4pm

Visitor enquiries and bookings via phone and email continue to be available.

 

What you can do

  • If you have any questions about any council service, please contact us on 5153 9500,  email feedback@egipps.vic.gov.au or visit our website.
  • Please continue to practice social distance and good hand hygiene.
  • If you have questions in relation to the easing of restrictions in general please visit the DHHS website.

Community newsletters

Coronavirus newsletter - 29 May

Coronavirus newsletter - 22 May

Coronavirus newsletter - 15 May

Coronavirus newsletter - 8 May

Coronavirus newsletter - 1 May

Coronavirus newsletter - 24 April

Coronavirus newsletter - 17 April

Coronavirus newsletter - 9 April

Coronavirus newsletter - 7 April  

Coronavirus newsletter - 3 April

Coronavirus newsletter - 31 March

Coronavirus newsletter - 27 March

Coronavirus newsletter - 24 March

Coronavirus newsletter

 

Changes to council services

 

Open by appointment only 

  • Bushfire Recovery Centre
  • Omeo Service Centre - for Centrelink and banking only

Closed

The below services are suspended until further notice:

  • Partial - BARC and Lakes Entrance Aquadome. This includes children services and school holiday program. Memberships automatically suspended
  • Forge Theatre (refunds or credits available)
  • Customer Service Centres

Raymond Island Ferry

The ferry is closed to pedestrians during cleaning times. The pedestrian area will be cleaned three times each day.

Pedestrian access is not available between:

  • 9.30 -10.30 am
  • 1.30 - 2.30 pm
  • 5.30 - 6.30 pm

Business Victoria COVID-19 hotline

To help businesses with COVID-19 questions, call 13 22 15. 

 

How is COVID-19 spread?

It is spread through close contact with an infected person. 

 

Close contact means greater than 15 minutes face-to-face or the sharing of a closed space for more than two hours with a confirmed case.

 

A close contact could include any person meeting any of the following criteria:

  • living in the same household or household-like setting (for example, a boarding school or hostel)
  • direct contact with the body fluids or laboratory specimens of a confirmed case 
  • a person who spent two hours or longer in the same room 
  • face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes with the case in any other setting not listed above.

What are the symptoms? 

Many people who contract COVID–19 will suffer only mild symptoms. However early indications are that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. 

 

The most common coronavirus symptoms reported include:

  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue or tiredness

If you feel unwell

You need to call ahead before visiting your doctor or emergency department. This allows the medical centre to put infection control measures in place.

 

DHHS also has a self-assessment chart to help you decide if you should be tested.

 

More information

To find out more about COVID-19, including how to self-isolate and latest media releases on the issue, visit the DHHS website.

 

 

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