Kindergartens to close in latest service changes

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Kindergartens, Hanging Rock, community halls and sports pavilions will close from tomorrow as Council continues its response to the current coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Executive Officer, Margot Stork said kindergarten parents had been informed directly of the closure, which will end term 1 early in line with the closure of schools.

“We’ve kept kindergartens open to date in line with the advice we’ve received from the Department of Education and Training,” Ms Stork said. “However, that advice has now changed and the number of children attending is decreasing daily, with many families already opting not to send children to kindergarten.”

Parents will be informed during the school holiday period of the likely re-opening date of kindergartens.

“We thank staff and families for their cooperation, and we will update you as soon as we can,” Ms Stork said.

Under new government regulations, Council cannot allow non-essential mass gatherings at any premises it owns, controls or operates.

Last week Council closed a range of facilities to public access, including pools, gyms, libraries and service centres.

The closures have now been widened to include community halls, sports pavilions and other facilities where indoor activities take place

Ms Stork said everyone should comply with the restrictions, which would help to keep them, their loved ones and the whole community safe.

“Social distancing is essential to save lives,” Ms Stork said. “Please remember to stay 1.5 metres away from everyone else, wash your hands often with soap and water, and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.”

Some of Council’s indoor facilities are run by community groups that act as committees of management. If any committee requires emergency access to a facility during the shutdown period, Council will consider these requests on a case-by-case basis.

Hanging Rock’s closure includes the cafe and Discovery Centre. Car parks will be locked and inaccessible.

All of the facilities will remain closed until 14 April, after which the decision will be reviewed.

Council has also changed or cancelled some services in recent days to protect the health and wellbeing of the community.

However it is important to note essential services such as Maternal and Child Health and immunisation will continue at the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Immunisation sessions will continue at the designated dates, times and locations, however new measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of both nurses and clients.

“This is a highly changeable situation and Council will continue to update the community regularly as it continues to unfold,” Ms Stork said.

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For more information, visit Coronavirus, or the Australian Government Department of Health and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

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