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05 August 2020
Northern Grampians Shire has two active cases of COVID-19 and will enter stage-three restrictions in line with the rest of rural Victoria from midnight tonight.
The new restrictions have had an impact on several services provided by Northern Grampians Shire.
Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor, Murray Emerson, said he felt for fellow residents with the return to harsher restrictions.
“It is quite sad that we find ourselves in this position again, returning to stage-three restrictions,” he said. “However, we need to do everything we can to keep our shire safe and to think of the health of others.
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"I ask all residents to abide by the new restrictions and to be mindful of the very heavy penalties that can be applied if they do not adhere to them.”
“Be kind, be sensible, and follow the new rules because the sooner we stop the spread of Coronavirus, the sooner we can go back to a more normal existence.”
"It's important to remember that this situation is changing daily and Northern Grampians Shire will be aiming to keep residents informed of the changes as quickly as possible through various channels of communication.
"If residents are concerned they may be showing signs of Coronavirus or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive, pre-booked tests can be made through Stawell Regional Health on 03 5358 8500 and East Wimmera Health Service on 03 5477 2100."
Further information is available atwww.ngshire.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
Customer Service Centres, Stawell Sports and Aquatic Centre and all library services in Stawell and St Arnaud will be closed during Stage three restrictions.
All other services remain open via appointment or with additional safety measures in place.
The Maternal and Child Health program will provide consultations predominantly by telephone, or other electronic means. Face to face consultations will not take place unless an appointment has been made beforehand.
Positive Aging services will continue including home care services and meals on wheels.
Additional safety measures and contact screening are in place. This service is taking new clients, please contact customer service on 03 5358 8700 or visit www.ngshire.vic.gov.au/Council-Services/Positive-Ageing.
Playgrounds, skate parks and barbecues will close from Thursday August 6 for six weeks during the State of Disaster.
Water fountains will not be available to drink from and residents are encouraged to bring their own water and continue to use these parks and gardens for exercise.
Amenities will also remain open. Stage three restrictions mean the following familiar changes for Northern Grampians Shire residents.
There will only be four reasons to be out: shopping for food and essential items, care and caregiving, daily exercise, work or study if not possible to do so from home. R
emote learning will recommence for all students from Foundation to Year 12 from Wednesday August 5, unless children attend a specialist school or their guardians are permitted to send them to school.
Face coverings will continue to be compulsory during the State of Disaster.
Shire residents are reminded that current restrictions require them to wear a mask or face covering at all times when not at home.
There is a $200 enforceable fine if this is not observed. Mask wearing exemptions apply to children under 12 years of age, individuals with breathing difficulties, and people who have a physical condition that makes wearing a mask difficult.
In addition, a hefty $652 fine applies for breaching any of the Stage Three restrictions and a $4957 fine for those who test positive and are found in breach of their isolation order.
Masks are available from several outlets within the shire.