A statement from City of Ballarat Chief Executive Officer Evan King:
The City of Ballarat has been working to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in Ballarat.
As one of Ballarat’s largest employers and the provider of essential community services, the City of Ballarat has been supporting the community throughout the pandemic since early 2020 and will continue to do so.
Now that we have received notification of a confirmed case in Ballarat, there is no need for panic.
The City of Ballarat will continue to support our community through any challenges that the pandemic presents. It’s imperative that we all remain calm, look after one another and follow the latest health advice.
To protect the health of residents and our staff, for the past 18 months we have been working through our Response and Recovery Pandemic Plan, adjusting our operations to deliver the critical services that our community need and expect.
We have created ‘workforce bubbles’ among our essential service teams. These workforce bubbles ensure the same teams work together, so that in the event of an outbreak, if a team or a site is impacted by COVID, the other team will continue to deliver these services to residents.
We use workforce bubbles for essential service teams such as our waste services team, for the collection of kerbside waste, green waste and recycling, and for our street cleaning, including leaf collection and cleaning of drains.
We also have workforce bubbles established for Meals on Wheels. Our team is operating across two separate sites, from the main site in Mair Street and also from the Eureka Centre.
Family and Children’s Services programs will operate in line with Department of Education and Training and Department of Families, Fairness and Housing requirements. Our childcare centres and kindergartens remain open and Maternal and Child Health nurses will continue to operate while childhood immunisation services will take place with COVIDSafe practices in place.
Our Ageing Well team will continue to assist some of our most vulnerable residents for essential in-home services, in line with Commonwealth guidelines and Victorian restrictions.
We have joined forces with Ballarat Community Health to provide the Marty Busch Reserve as a pop-up testing site.
Please rest assured that Ballarat is well prepared. We have a robust healthcare system and we’ve taken learnings from other outbreaks. We have responded well to cases in the past and we will do so again.
It is critical that we all continue our COVIDSafe behaviours – most importantly, to get tested immediately if you have any symptoms at all.
If you have visited any of the tier 1, 2 or 3 exposure sites during a declared period, you must follow the advice of DHHS.
We have all worked to stop the spread of the virus and we will continue to work together to make sure our community stays safe.
If you are eligible, I encourage you to please get vaccinated. Vaccination is our only way out of ongoing lockdowns.
The City of Ballarat is also supporting businesses with the Community and Business Support Package.
The $1 million grant package aims to supplement existing funding available from federal and state governments, while also supporting some of the small businesses and community groups not eligible for financial assistance through other funding programs.