Coronavirus Community Updates

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Slowing the spread of coronavirus in NSW

  1. Slowing the spread of coronavirus in NSW
  2. Simple steps for social distancing can make a big difference
  3. Staying connected as a community
  4. Take personal action to reduce exposures and stay healthy
  5. Actions for all travellers returning to or arriving in Australia
  6. Actions for people caring for a sick family member
  7. Actions for parents and guardians
  8. Actions for an organisation, workplace or employer
  9. Actions for childcare centres, kindergartens, schools
  10. Actions for TAFE, colleges and universities
  11. Actions for health and community service providers including for vulnerable people
  12. Actions for transport carriers
  13. Advice for mass gatherings

Local & Vocal

To provide a local response and support to the Corona Virus Pandemic for our community, Council has also activated the Bellingen Shire Corona Virus Pandemic Response Group, which is comprised of representatives from local medical, emergency, education, Chambers of Commerce and community service providers.

The Bellingen Shire Corona Virus Pandemic Response Group has initiated the community information hub for Covid-19 and will be providing regular updates regarding local initiatives, actions and information via its Bellingen Shire Connects webpage to ensure that as a community we remain informed, engaged and aware of each other as we work towards meeting the challenges the current pandemic situation presents us both at work and at home.

You can also stay in touch with other sources of local content to help you keep up to date including accessing information on what happend around the world while you were sleeping by signing up to receive the Bellingen Courier Sun's twice daily email digests on the unfolding situation at 7:30am and 5:30pm.

2 Triple B FM also provides a fourm for the many voices of our one community and you can stay up to date with local discussions by simply clicking here to listen online or by tuning in your radio to 93.3 fm or 107.3 fm or by logging onto their facebook page here.

Finally, there's I Love Bello Shire and their online guide to all things happening in our Shire which features a weekly newsletter that will also provide our community with regular updates regarding local initiatives, actions and information about how we can all work together through this difficult time. You can go directly to their website by clicking here, or to subscribe to their free weekly community newsletter simply click here.



Slowing the spread of coronavirus in NSW

  1. Slowing the spread of coronavirus in NSW
  2. Simple steps for social distancing can make a big difference
  3. Staying connected as a community
  4. Take personal action to reduce exposures and stay healthy
  5. Actions for all travellers returning to or arriving in Australia
  6. Actions for people caring for a sick family member
  7. Actions for parents and guardians
  8. Actions for an organisation, workplace or employer
  9. Actions for childcare centres, kindergartens, schools
  10. Actions for TAFE, colleges and universities
  11. Actions for health and community service providers including for vulnerable people
  12. Actions for transport carriers
  13. Advice for mass gatherings

Local & Vocal

To provide a local response and support to the Corona Virus Pandemic for our community, Council has also activated the Bellingen Shire Corona Virus Pandemic Response Group, which is comprised of representatives from local medical, emergency, education, Chambers of Commerce and community service providers.

The Bellingen Shire Corona Virus Pandemic Response Group has initiated the community information hub for Covid-19 and will be providing regular updates regarding local initiatives, actions and information via its Bellingen Shire Connects webpage to ensure that as a community we remain informed, engaged and aware of each other as we work towards meeting the challenges the current pandemic situation presents us both at work and at home.

You can also stay in touch with other sources of local content to help you keep up to date including accessing information on what happend around the world while you were sleeping by signing up to receive the Bellingen Courier Sun's twice daily email digests on the unfolding situation at 7:30am and 5:30pm.

2 Triple B FM also provides a fourm for the many voices of our one community and you can stay up to date with local discussions by simply clicking here to listen online or by tuning in your radio to 93.3 fm or 107.3 fm or by logging onto their facebook page here.

Finally, there's I Love Bello Shire and their online guide to all things happening in our Shire which features a weekly newsletter that will also provide our community with regular updates regarding local initiatives, actions and information about how we can all work together through this difficult time. You can go directly to their website by clicking here, or to subscribe to their free weekly community newsletter simply click here.


  • Bellingen Shire Coronavirus Pandemic Response Group

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    06 April, 2020

    The Bellingen Shire has taken matters into its own hands with the establishment of their Bellingen Shire Pandemic Response Group and today launch another layer – a Connection Centre and COVID-19 Website.

    “It’s all about helping community help itself. We don’t know what we’re facing, we just know we’re better if we do it together” said Dean Besley, Council appointed facilitator of the Bellingen Shire Pandemic Response Group.

    The Pandemic Response Group came together in early March and while facilitated by council, it’s a collaborative effort with the community and various specialist groups working together.

    The Pandemic Response Group is made up of representatives from the Clinical Action Group responsible for establishing and operating our own COVID-19 Clinic, and the Neighbourhood Care Network which provides a network of volunteers helping each other with practical support, connection and resources to get through this together.

    The Bellingen Shire Council is represented on the group and is providing resourcing as they can to the wider group, along with a focus on essential service continuation.

    The Business Support Network is represented by all three Chambers of Commerce and are working with the businesses in the Shire to provide support and advice. The Services and Support Network is being lead by the Shire Neighbourhood Centres with various service agencies represented.

    The most recent area of the Group’s focus for the past 10 days has been the establishment and operation of a Connection Centre and COVID-19 website.

    “We workshopped with the pandemic response group members and came to the realisation that whilst each group was providing some great support and doing some amazing things for our community, what was missing was a central hub – and this is how the need for the Connection centre and a website became clear” Michelle McFadyen, Deputy General Manager Corporate and Community said.

    The Connection Centre is like a call centre and is the central hub for the Pandemic Response Group, and the action groups and networks that make it up.

    The Connection Centre was launched today and is operating Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm initially. The number to call, if you need support, need information or are able to help, is 5627 6001. The Centre is staffed by volunteers and council and is launched in conjunction with a new website designed specifically for the Bellingen Shire community. The website can be found at www.bellingenshireconnects.com.au and brings together all the information, activities and support provisions of the Pandemic Response Group in a user focused fashion.

    “We expect we’ll have calls from our community around anything from financial issues, family issues, health, food, business, local services, personal needs, homelessness and housing” Volunteer Lily Isobella said.

    The Pandemic Response Group is urging our community to have a look at the information on the website and register themselves.

    “We have over 430 people registered to offer help, or who may need help, and we have almost 100 neighbourhood champions registered so at present, nominally we’ve reached coverage of around 80% of the households in the Shire” Kerry Pearse, Neighbourhood Care Network Coordinator said.

    “It’s been an amazing experience seeing the community and council come together like this with one clear purpose – supporting our community - even under these exceptional circumstances”, Bellingen Shire Mayor Dominic King said.

    “If you or anyone you know needs any support – even if you’re not sure – call the Connection Centre on 5627 6001, we can help” Dean Besley said.

  • Visiting Patients in Bellingen Hospital

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    27 March, 2020

    There are revised arrangements for people wishing to visit patients in Bellingen Hospital.

    Visiting Hours: Between 10:00am and 6:00pm. Anyone wishing to visit patients outside these hours will need to phone the hospital to make special arrangements.

    Number of Visitors: One visitor at a time.

    Hospital Entry: All visitors will need to enter the hospital via the Administration entrance (just downhill from the main entrance). There they will be screened for the possibility of COVID-19, and issued with a visitors pass.

    These measures are to reduce the risk of transmission of Coronavirus, and improve the safety of both inpatients and healthcare staff.

    Above all: do not visit patients or nursing home residents if you have a fever or cold symptoms. Stay home, and defer your visit until you are well.

    Last updated: 26 Mar 2020


  • Council Update

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    26 March, 2020

    Council’s Environmental Health Team are actively working with retail food premises operators within our Shire to ensure high standards of hygiene and infection control measures are being maintained.

    The Public Health Orders which dictate requirements for social gathering are continually evolving and the following links will provide you with access to current advice relating to food for sale from cafes, restaurants, supermarkets and outdoor food markets and can be found on the NSW Health web page as per the links below.

    For information relating to current Public Health Orders made under the Public Health Act 2010

    Please go to https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/pho-covid-19-gatherings.aspx

    Current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) food safety advice for Business and Consumers, can be found on the Food Authority web site https://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/help/covid-19-advice-for-businesses#


  • Neighbourhood Care Network - Getting Ready

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    23 March, 2020

    Neighbourhood Care Network - Getting Ready

    We are a network of people helping each other with practical support, connection and resources to get through this together. Physical distancing doesn't have to mean social isolation. We are doing everything we can to prepare for the worst while we hope for the best.

    Why are we doing this?

    We are getting on the front foot and setting up local networks for anyone who wants to stay connected with their neighbours and community as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds in our Shire.

    We don't know how many of us will be in home isolation and we want to make it as easy as possible to help each other.

    Want to find out more?

    Simply click on the link here to find out more about our Shire's Neighbourhood Care Network.

    How to get involved?

    Register online at https://airtable.com/shrLwdFmfGwX6vBwf or phone the Registration Help Desk on 66551005 between 10am and 4:40pm.


  • Medical Clinical Action Group

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    18 March, 2020

    About Our COVID Clinic:

    A collaborative effort by the private medical and health practitioners across the Bellingen Shire has resulted in the establishment of a dedicated COVID-19 testing clinic.

    The COVID Clinic has been established by local doctors and nurses to provide a single point for the assessment and testing of anyone in Bellingen Shire (including Dorrigo, Thora, Urunga, Kalang, Raleigh etc) who thinks they may have a Coronavirus (COVID) infection.

    No other medical problems will be dealt with at the COVID Clinic – you should see your usual GP for those.

    Clinic Location:

    15-23 Watson St, Bellingen (the old Watson Street Hostel).

    Clinic Hours:

    The Clinic is open 6 days a week (Mon-Sat) from midday to 2:00pm. No appointments are necessary.

    Who Can Attend The Clinic:

    Any Shire resident or visitor

    What Will Happen At The Clinic:

    You should drive to the Clinic and enter the driveway as signposted.

    Please stay in your car (including children). Keep the air conditioner running if the weather is warm.

    You will be met by a staff member who will record your details (please have your Medicare card with you).

    You will then proceed along the driveway to be seen by a nurse and doctor.

    You will be tested for Coronavirus ONLY if you meet the current NSW Health testing criteria:

    - overseas travel or a cruise in the last 2 weeks, AND a fever or flu-like symptoms

    - close contact with someone with COVID in the last 2 weeks, AND a fever or flu-like symptoms

    - healthcare or aged care workers WITH a fever or flu-like illness

    Testing involves taking a swab from the back of your throat, and from the back of your nose. Some people may find this uncomfortable.

    If you are tested, it is important that you then remain in home isolation until the result is back.

    The results of your swab will be sent to your usual GP. Please phone your GP in three days for the results. Some results have taken up to 6 days to return.

    Your visit will take about 10 minutes, longer if there are a lot of attendees.

    It’s vital that respiratory clinics are not overwhelmed with people who are not in the high risk groups, which could result in delays identifying those most vulnerable.

    If You Don’t Have a Car:

    You should still enter via the driveway on foot. You will be shown to a separate seating area.

    Cost:

    Your visit to the Clinic is bulk-billed to Medicare. There are no out of pocket expenses, as long as you have a Medicare card.

    Alternative Clinics:

    There is a Fever Clinic at Coffs Harbour Hospital, currently open Mon-Fri from 10am to 2pm. Phone 1300 001 956 for more details.

    There are also clinics at Kempsey and Port Macquarie.

    Other Information:

    There are no public toilets at the Clinic.

    The Clinic does not give out masks or other protective equipment for home use.


  • Community Update

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    18 March, 2020

    Local Response to a Global Crisis

    Bellingen Shire Council Mayor, Cr Dominic King, has praised the Bellingen Shire Coronavirus Pandemic Response Group’s joint efforts to ensure we are a resilient community that is prepared for the future challenges the Coronavirus presents us.

    Cr King said the Bellingen Shire Coronavirus Pandemic Response Group was made up of representatives from Council, local medical, emergency, Chambers of Commerce and community service providers.

    “There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes in terms of coordinating local resources and talent to establish this group, which will be working together with our community to deliver initiatives, actions and information to provide a local response to this global crisis.”

    “Moving forward we’ll also continue to invite and recruit to the group as we’d like to talk to representatives from the education sector and other various service providers that operate within our community.”

    Cr King said the group would focus their efforts on the key community areas of clinical support, community preparedness and resilience, community information, business support services and the maintenance of Council’s essential community services.

    “For example, members of the group are local medical professionals who have been working tirelessly to complete the forward planning necessary to actively seek and secure Commonwealth funding to establish our own Covid Clinic.”

    “This initiative would provide our Shire with a dedicated facility to test for the virus, coordinate patient after care support services and reduce the risk of transmission of the Coronavirus at one of our local medical clinics, because this situation could result in the closure of that clinic.”

    “The group will also work towards identifying opportunities to address the range of challenges we will face and identify ways to support our local economy, the elderly and isolated and the services we rely on from the potential impacts this virus might have on the way we live our day to day lives.”

    “I also think it’s important that as a community we remain informed, engaged and aware of each other as we all work together towards meeting the challenges the current pandemic situation presents us both at work and at home.”

    “That’s why Council has created a single point of truth on our Create Engagement Portal called Coronavirus Community Updates so you can have online access to lead pandemic agencies such as Federal and State Government Health Departments and regular updates on the local initiatives an actions of the Bellingen Shire Corona Virus Pandemic Response Group.”

    Cr King said Council would be working in partnership with our local media outlets including the Bellingen Courier Sun, I Love Bello and 2 Triple B FM to provide our community with as many opportunities to access local information and to support their efforts to maintain a forum for the many voices of our one community.

    “We are a connected, informed and engaged community and we will work through these challenging circumstances together just as we did during the recent drought, fires and floods.”


  • Business Support

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    18 March, 2020

    The Australian Government is supporting Australian businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees. Assistance includes cash flow support to businesses and temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses.

    • Boosting cash flow for employers
    • Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
    • Increasing the instant asset write-off
    • Backing business investment
    • Supporting apprentices and trainees
    To find out more simply click on the following link Support for Businesses.