Council urges community to seek support
July 21, 2020
Colac Otway Shire Council is urging every member of the community to continue their efforts to reduce the spread of COVID19 and assured anyone impacted by the pandemic that support was available.
“Our community has already been hard hit by this second wave, and it’s important that anyone affected - physically, mentally, financially, socially – reaches out and gets the support they need,” Colac Otway Chief Executive Peter Brown said.
“Council is working with various government agencies including Colac Area Health and DHHS, Diversitat, local businesses, accommodation providers and the wider community to make sure the necessary support is available, including providing assistance to CAH to help manage the COVID testing station at Central Reserve.
“We have people who have never accessed our Meal on Wheels or other community services who could need them because they have chosen to self-isolate in response to the coronavirus outbreak in Colac.
“Council is working with CAH and Diversitat to provide whatever support is needed for close contacts of ALC employees who have tested positive and is required to quarantine or self-isolate.
“We are aware there are up to 50 people who are in share houses and need separate accommodation to be able to isolate, which Council is working with other agencies to secure.
“Colac has limited accommodation options at any time and finding appropriate places is challenging.
“There will be people affected who are casual employees and could require food and other support to get through a quarantine or self-isolation period.
“Diversitat is providing valuable assistance by contacting people where there is a language or cultural barrier to ensure they understand what they need to do to stay safe and also assist Council understand what support they need.
“Colac Otway is also supporting our own staff, particularly those at Bluewater and COPACC who are dealing with the second closure of their workplaces.
“Council has made the decision to close Bluewater to the public for a week at this stage, to be reviewed next Monday. After discussions with leasee Colac Cinemas, COPACC will also not be taking bookings for the next two weeks and we will review that temporary closure on August 3.
“We will continue to find alternative work options where possible for our Bluewater and COPACC employees and while we understand our staff is experiencing uncertainty, keeping our employees and community safe must be our priority.
“We encourage any businesses that have closed as a precaution or are impacted to find out if they or their employees qualify for government support, and that they seek mental health support if they are struggling in these unprecedented times.
“There are hundreds of people who have been tested for coronavirus and there is understandably a great deal of anxiety in the community.
“We thank residents for their patience and understanding while waiting to be tested at CAH’s Connor Street site and we hope that by opening Central Reserve for drive-through testing from today for the remainder of the week that wait times will be reduced,” Mr Brown said.
CAH is urging people who have symptoms or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive to get tested and they can pre-register their details by calling (03) 5232 5321, (03) 5232 5481 or (03) 5232 5267.
Government information on symptoms, preventing the spread of COVID19, current restrictions, and support services can be found online at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
Older residents who are self-isolating can learn more about Colac Otway Shire's Aged Care and Disability Support including Meals on Wheels by visiting www.colacotway.vic.gov.au or phoning our Customer Service team on (03) 5232 9400.