Updated 3/4/20 – 7.30am
As with many of us, Council is keeping a close eye on developments as COVID-19 spreads. In order to protect our community and our staff we are making some changes to the way we do things – and asking you to do the same:
What is the Shire Doing?
At this stage, we have made some operational changes:
- Cancellation of all scheduled public events
- Staff will not be attending any training or non-essential face-to-face meetings
- From Monday 30 March, the Shire office staff will be largely working from home
- The Shire Office will remain open for now; licencing and payment services are available, but we will close from 12-1pm daily
- Increasing disinfection of offices, facilities and vehicles
- Closure of Recreation Centre, Turf Bar, Autumn Centre, Skate Park and all playgrounds
- Closure of camping grounds at Yandanooka Hall and Enanty Barn
- Closure of Coalseam Rd to non-local traffic to prevent camping in the Park
- Seeking to implement voluntary travel restrictions and social distancing measures
- Our library is also closed. If you wish to order a library card for online access, please call or email the Shire to request one.
With the help of the Mingenew CRC, we have established the We’ll Help You in Mingenew initiative. This aims to connect those who are in isolation or otherwise need assistance with willing volunteers. You can read all about it right here.
Travel to Mingenew
The Shire of Mingenew has a relatively large proportion of residents at higher risk of serious outcomes if COVID-19 spreads in our Shire. Due to our size and location we also have limited access to medical facilities and essential services and resources. In order to protect our community during this time all non-essential travel to the Shire is actively discouraged. Please note:
- There is no legal camping available in Mingenew, and campers will be asked by Police and Rangers to move on
- Road access to Coalseam Conservation Park is open to local traffic only
- Accommodation will only be provided to those completing essential travel
- Intrastate travel restrictions apply from midnight of Tuesday 31 March 2020. Details here.
We are a community that thrives on the business of travellers, so this is a difficult decision for us, but the welfare of our community – particularly those vulnerable members – is a paramount priority.
What can I do?
To help to protect both our staff, and the community members that access our facilities, we ask that you only attend the Shire office where absolutely necessary, call ahead if possible, and do not come in person if you have:
- Cold or flu-like symptoms
- Have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Have been in contact with someone who has travelled overseas and is displaying cold or flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days
If you are unsure about whether a transaction you want to carry out can be done over the phone or online, please call ahead on 08 9928 1102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You might be surprised by the range of payments and licencing activities that can be completed over the phone or online.
Some licencing activities can also be carried out online at the Department of Transport website.
The Shire website also has an abundance of information and a range of forms should you need further information.
There are also a number of ways you can protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19:
- If you are required to – or are voluntarily – self-isolating, there are Federal Government guidelines that can be found here. Those who are at higher risk (e.g. the elderly or immunocompromised people) are very strongly encouraged to consider voluntarily self-isolating; access the We’ll Help You in Mingenew initiative if you need a hand whilst you’re in isolation.
- Minimise all travel as much as possible
- If you know someone who should be self-isolating and is not, you are advised to alert the Police on 131 444.
- If you are contemplating travel to the Shire for any non-essential reason, postpone your plans and stay home.
What do I do if I'm feeling unwell?
If you suspect you may have COVID-19 symptoms or may have had close contact with a person who has COVID-19, you should contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080, your GP, Health Direct (1800 022 222) or Silver Chain 9928 1043. Midwest Aero Medical will be not be attending GP clinics in person at present, but are providing tele-consultation services. You can book in on 9956 8999.
Symptoms of Coronavirus may include:
- a sore throat;
- runny nose;
- shortness of breath;
- fevers; and
- muscle or body aches.
To avoid spreading COVID-19, it is important that you call your health provider or hospital before attending so that they can safely manage your arrival.
If you are experiencing severe symptoms, please call 000.
If you are unwell it is also important that you self-isolate to avoid potentially infecting those around you. If that is going to be a struggle for you, get in touch with our We’ll Help You in Mingenew campaign!
Where can I get more information on COVID-19?
We will continue to monitor this ever-evolving process and take our advice from government and health care professionals and we recommend others do the same. During this time, we urge people to remain alert – but calm – and to seek their advice and information from reputable sources. There is plenty of ‘fake news’ being circulated, so we suggest seeking advice from the following sources:
- The HealthyWA website – this site has regularly updated information on COVID clinics and current advice.
- Commonwealth Department of Health – contains a number of fact sheets to answer the many questions that are currently being asked by the broader community and different industries including advice for employers,
- WA State Government Coronavirus Page – includes the WA Government Pandemic Plan and a map showing locations of confirmed cases in the state, find it here.
Prefer social media? Here are some useful Facebook pages to follow for regular updates:
And here are some posters that might provide you with helpful information – feel free to share them:
- COVID-19 Identifying the Symptoms Poster
- How to Wash Your Hands Poster
- Protect Yourself and Others Poster
The Australian Government has a COVID-19 Hotline that you can call: 1800 020 080.
The WA Government has also set up a phone service which is open 7am to 10pm: 13-COVID (13 26843)
How will my business be supported?
What other financial support is available?
How can I help others?
Finally, we would like to remind people to check in with each other – with a phone call, facetime or text message. The next few months may be challenging and isolating for some, and it’s important that we are looking out for those around us. If you want to get involved and volunteer to help those at risk or self-isolating, you can register for the We’ll Help You in Mingenew campaign.
We also strongly urge everyone to – where possible – buy local and help to support our local businesses through this challenging time.
The Australian Pyschological Association also has some helpful tips for managing COVID-19 related anxiety and helping to explain it to children. You can download that document here.
What other help is available?
Should you, or someone you know, be struggling there are also a range of services that can help, including:
- Desert Blue Connect Rural Support Counsellor (Mon-Fri 9-5): 0419 348 006
- Midwest Mental Health and Community Alcohol and Drug Service: 9956 1999
- RuralLink (after hours Counselling Service): 1800 552 002
- Lifeline (24/7): 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline (ages 5-25): 1800 55 1800
- 1800 Respect(Sexual assualt, domestic and family violence): 1800 737 732
You can find a even more options on the Mental Health Commission website too.
What local services are still available?
Our local businesses are facing a difficult time as a result of COVID-19. Where you can, we strongly encourage you to support them during this period.
Mingenew IGA Xpress can offer phone and email orders (delivery available): Call 9927 1021 or email email@example.com.
Mingenew Hotel/Motel is providing a home delivery service for meals and packaged alcohol. They are also able to offer accommodation and meals should you need to self-isolate away from family. Check their Facebook page or give them a call: 9928 1002.
The Mingenew Bakery is providing take-away food drinks as well, you can call 9928 1104. They will be closed from 10-28 April, but taking bread orders during this period.
Mingenew Post Office is providing mail delivery and collection and medication delivery. They are open regular hours with normal services operating. Mail collection from box with key is preferred.
Mingenew CRC Centrelink access point is open, this is completely self-serviced and they are unable to provide assistance.
Mingenew Spring Caravan Park (9928 1019) is closed to outside bookings.