Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a current health issue and Council is currently monitoring the situation. Find out more.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • What is Coronavirus?

    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). 
    COVID-19 is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

    For the up-to-date information, advice and answers to frequently asked questions about coronavirus go to www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19

  • Symptoms of novel coronavirus

    The virus can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Affected people may experience, fever, flu like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and headaches and difficulty breathing.

    The Victorian Government's interactive self-assessment can help you better understand the risks and precautions you need to take based on your personal circumstances.

  • What Council is doing

    Council is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak to ensure that we are best prepared to respond to any suspected or confirmed cases within our community. Council’s role in a pandemic is business continuity, so that we can continue to provide local essential services, public health and community support and recovery. We will be guided the Victorian Government and the Department of Health and Human Services about the appropriate action to take and when. 
     
    The Mansfield Shire Municipal Pandemic Management Sub Plan (March 2020) guides responsibilities and actions to be taken by Council and agencies in Mansfield Shire in the event of a pandemic.  The plan has been developed in line with state and federal health management plans that aim to provide an effective health response framework to minimise transmissibility, morbidity and mortality associated with a pandemic and its impacts on the health sector and community. 

  • Media Releases

  • Changes to Council Service

    Given the rapidly evolving situation in regards to COVID19 Virus Mansfield Shire Council is taking a number of precautionary steps to protect our community, staff, volunteers and visitors.

    Changes to Council services:

    • Mansfield Library: In line with federal government directives, Mansfield Library is closed to the public until further notice.  In an effort to support the community, loan periods have been extended from 4 to 8 weeks, fines for overdue items have been suspended and library staff remain available via phone or email to respond to library related enquiries during standard library hours.  Library members can continue to enjoy free access to a broad selection of online resources including eBooks, eAudiobooks and selected databases available with your library membership go to www.mansfield.vic.gov.au/residents/community/library-services/online-lib...
    • Youth Services: In line with federal government directives, Mansfield Youth Centre is closed to the public until further notice. 
    • Home and Community Care: In line with federal government directives, Home and Community Care package elements of Planned Activity Groups, Spring Club, Thursday Social Group, Mens Group, EasyMovers, AquaMovers and the Community Bus have been cancelled.  All clients participating in these programs have been notified and we will be continue to communicate with these clients during this period to understand their needs and provide appropriate support. 
    • Customer Service: Effective Monday 23 March, Council’s Business Centre at 33 Highett Street will be closed for face-to-face service, however Council will continue to operate to minimise disruption and residents/ratepayers are encouraged to phone or email Council to discuss requests, services or any other matter that Council can assist with.  Council’s website also has a Submit a Request capability and residents can easily lodge requests or complaints this way. 
    • Depot: For deliveries to the Council Depot please wait at the gate and phone reception prior to entering.  The phone number will be on the gate.
    • Licencing and VicRoads: As of 24/03/2020 VicRoads Benalla Customer Service Centre is still open for business for urgent enquiries. All VicRoads related matters should be directed to Benalla Customer Service Centre. To find out more go to https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/contact-us/officelocations/benalla
    • Council Managed Community Facilities: Effective Monday 23 March, all Council managed indoor community facilities including Mansfield Sporting Complex and Mansfield Comunity Centre (Buckland Room and Anderson Hall) will be closed.
    • Volunteer Program: Council has an incredible team of volunteers, however the majority of the volunteers are within the most at risk age category for COVID19. Council will not be using volunteers to deliver services during this period and Council staff will be redeployed to undertake essential activities such as meals-on-wheels deliveries.

    At this stage, most other Council services remain operational with some changes to reduce person-to-person contact as well as triaging essential and non-essential components.

    • Home and Community Care: Elements of the Home and Community Care packages such as personal care, respite, home maintenance, meals on wheels and transport that are essential to support clients to live independently in their home will continue.  The Regional Assessment Service (RAS) will be modified to reduce person to person contact 
    • Integrated family services, financial counselling and maternal child health: will continue with modifications to support increased home visits and/or other methods which have reduced person to person contact. Information on COVID-19 for parents with infants and young children
    • School Crossing Supervision: Whilst students continue to attend schools, our schools crossing supervisors will assist students.  Update 23 March 2020: In line with the State Government directive, schools finished Term 1 on 23 March 2020. To support parents who are working in critical services, some students will still be attending State run Schools. Council is working together with our local shools to support this and will continue to provide School Crossing Supervisors during this period.
    • Waste Collection: Your bins will be collected as normal and the Resource Recovery Centre will be open.  However DrumMuster service has been suspended until further notice.
    • Planning: Permit applications will be assessed.
    • Public Amenities: Public toilets will continue to be cleaned, roads, community infrastructure and parks and gardens will be maintained and capital works will continue.

    Council’s priority is always the health and safety of both our staff and the community as we continue to work through uncertain times and deliver vital and key services.

    The Covid-19 virus is a rapidly changing situation. We are constantly and carefully monitoring the situation as it evolves and will keep you updated as things change.

    Where possible, we encourage you to go online or call in to access our services.  If this is not possible, when interacting in person with these services we encourage you to:

    • Wash hands thoroughly and regularly 
    • Wave hello and smile instead of shaking hands.
    • Sit a little further apart when talking with someone (1.5 metres apart).
    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow and dispose of tissues immediately.
    • While physical interactions may be limited during this time, we encourage you to continue to support and connect with each other in other ways, such as checking in and phoning a neighbour or a friend.
    • Public toilets will continue to be cleaned, roads, community infrastructure and parks and gardens will be maintained and capital works will continue.

    For regular updates and reliable advice the best source is the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus(link is external)

  • How can I prevent the spread of coronavirus?

    Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others when you are sick is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

    1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, including before and after eatingk and after going to the toilet.
    2. Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and wash your hands.
    3. Avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).
    4. Stay at home if unwell.

    Social Distancing Guidance

    Social distancing includes ways to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people.

    Social distancing is important because COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

    • Direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their syptoms appeared
    • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughts or sneezes, or
    • touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then toughing your mouth or face.

    So, the more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

    For more information on Social distancing go to https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-on-social-distancing

  • Financial Support

    Support for individuals and households

    Income support for individuals

    People who receive a range of Commonwealth payments are now eligible to receive a new, time-limited Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight. This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.

    If you already receive one of the eligible payments, you will automatically be paid the Coronavirus Supplement. You do not need to contact Centrelink.

    If you don’t currently receive an income support payment and you need help because you have lost your job or had your income reduced, you will need to apply through Centrelink. Start your claim online through myGov before visiting Centrelink. If you need to provide proof of identity and you’re in self-isolation or feeling unwell, you can do this over the phone.

    Please visit the Treasury website for more information:
    https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/households

    Payments to support households

    The Government is providing two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 and the second payment will be made from 13 July 2020. 

    If you already receive one of the eligible payments, you will automatically be paid the $750 economic support payment. You do not need to contact Centrelink.

    If you don’t currently receive an income support payment and you need help because you have lost your job or had your income reduced, you will need to apply through Centrelink. Start your claim online through myGov before visiting Centrelink. If you need to provide proof of identity and you’re in self-isolation or feeling unwell, you can do this over the phone.

    Please visit the Treasury website for more information:
    https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/households

    Temporary early release of superannuation

    Individuals affected by the Coronavirus can now access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. These withdrawals will be tax-free and will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

    Eligible individuals can apply online to the ATO through myGov before 1 July 2020 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation.

    Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates

    The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for 2019-20 and 2020-21. 

    Reducing social security deeming rates

    On 12 March, the Government announced a 0.5 percentage point reduction in both the upper and lower social security deeming rates. The Government will now reduce these rates by another 0.25 percentage points. The changes will be effective from 1 May 2020.

    Support for small business

    Boosting cash flow for employers

    The Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not for-profits that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000.

    The payment will be delivered by the ATO as an automatic credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020 upon employers lodging eligible upcoming activity statements. A further payment will be available for the June-October 2020 period.

    Increasing the instant asset write-off

    The Government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million).

    This proposal applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or second-hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe.

    Supporting apprentices and trainees

    Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter).

    Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020. For further information on how to apply for the subsidy, including information on eligibility, contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider.

    Supporting the flow of credit 

    Support for immediate cash flow needs for SMEs

    Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, the Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to SME lenders to support new short-term unsecured loans to SMEs. The Scheme will guarantee up to $40 billion of new lending. 

    The Scheme will commence by early April 2020 and be available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 September 2020.

    For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to Coronavirus visit treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.
     

  • Information for Business

    The outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is causing economic disruption in many sectors across Mansfield Shire. We recognise the affect that the current COVID-19 situation is having on businesses and we are committed to supporting our business community in any way we can.

    Below is some useful information for businesses, including the different forms of support, tools and resources available during this time. As the situation and advice continues to change rapidly, we ask all businesses to continue to monitor State and Federal Government announcements.

    Financial Support

    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.

    Available support includes:

    • JobKeeper payment
    • 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 go to https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses

    The Victorian Government has introduced a number of measures to support business to plan and respond to coronavirus COVID-19. 

    For advice, updates and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus visit the Business Victoria Coronavirus Support website.

    The Australian Tax Office is providing several financial relief options for businesses including tax relief and payment deferrals.

    The Australian Banking Association is urging small businesses financially impacted to contact their bank to access assistance on offer which can include deferred loan payments, waiving of fees and restricting loans.

    Workplace Impacts

    We encourage employees and employers to work together to find appropriate solutions that suit the needs of individual workplaces and staff.  
    The Australian and Victorian Chambers have produced an Employer Guide(link is external) for managing the workplace in the face of the outbreak which includes:

    • Understanding your risks.
    • Employer obligation.
    • Working from home.
    • Changing or scaling down operations, and
    • Business shut down.

    For information and assistance on any aspect of your employment obligations, the Victorian Chamber Workplace Relations Advice Line (03) 8662 5222 can help.

    Business Resources

    Business Victoria is a great resource for up-to-date information and updates on the current restrictions. It is also providing a range of advice and information for business owners on things like economic stimulus, business continuity, and recovery. Business Victoria also has a hotline to help businesses with COVID-19 questions. You can call them on 13 22 15.

    The Victorian Chamber of Commerce provides a comprehensive list of resources and advice.

    Business Gov is the Federal Government information hub for business support. It contains information on government support including financial assistance, eligibility and timing for government support.

    Tourism support

    The Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) is the peak industry body for the tourism and events sector. They are waiving membership fees for 'In the Loop' and' Essentials' membership packages. They will also be providing additional services including training credit to courses provided by the Victorian Chamber.

    Cleaning and disinfecting tips for non-healthcare settings

    Cleaning and disinfecting to reduce COVID-19 transmission - tips for non-healthcare settings guide – advice on cleaning and disinfecting to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in all non-healthcare settings in Victoria. The principles in the guide apply equally to domestic settings, office buildings, small retail businesses, social venues and all other non-healthcare settings.

    Managing stress

    If you are experiencing increased worry and stress during this time, there are a number of support services available

    Stress savvy in business

    Lifeline can be called on 13 11 14

    Beyond Blue can be called via 1300 224 636

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has a My Business Help web portal. This portal now has an additional section for businesses struggling with COVID-19. Check out their finance and mental health information for business.

    Further Information

    If you have any queries, please contact the Economic Development Team on 03 5775 8520 or email nicole.nye@mansfield.vic.gov.au

     

  • Information for Parents

    We understand that many parents are likely to be feeling anxious or concerned about their children’s health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents should be reassured that the evidence so far is babies and children under five almost never get seriously ill from COVID-19. To keep up to date with the latest information and advice about COVID-19 visit: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.

    Factsheet on COVID-19 for Parents with infants and small children

  • Local Services

    Central Hume Primary Care Partnership

    For information on health and wellbeing services in the Hume region www.centralhumepcp.org/covid-19/

    MACE - Mansfield Adult Continuing Education

    On the direction from the Government, MACE is now temporarily closed until further notice.

    For all Services Australia enquiries go to www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/

    For all Department of Human Services enquiries go to www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/

    For all Centrelink enquiries - 132 850

    Parks Victoria

    As directed by the Chief Health Officer all campsites, camping grounds and caravan parks are closed until further notice. People can continue to live on a closed caravan park or camping ground if it is registered as their primary place of residence or if they are stain in caravan parks as interim accommodation where their primary residence is not available.

    For more information go to  www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-into-nature/safety-in-nature/covid-19-update

  • Key Information and Resources

    Coronavirus Hotline

    For people in the community seeking support services call 1800 675 398

    VicEmergency

    For state-wide emergency advice go to www.emergency.vic.gov.au

    Department of Health and Human Services

    The Department of Health and Human Services have an updated web page with facts about coronavirus (COVID-19), symptoms, updates, resources and advice for the public, health professionals, education services and the media. Please click on the below links for information and advice on the coronavirus. www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

    Department of Health

    The Australian Government’s Department of Health is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Health are providing daily updates and information, answering questions about the latest news, providing current facts and figures, travel advice, key contact and phone numbers. www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

    World Health Organisation

    The World Health Organisation is continuously monitoring and responding to the coronavirus outbreak. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 March, 2020 - 15:42