31 March 2020:
So a lot has changed in our world since we did the previous (below) update on 17 March about Council's response to Covid-19... Here's a video update from CEO Sanchia Jacobs. Please also visit our Covid-19 section for more detail on our local emergency response as well as Council's essential service delivery during the current lockdown period.
17 March 2020
Covid 19: What is Council doing to ready ourselves?
A message from CEO Sanchia Jacobs
Many of you have family and friends who work at, or with, the Central Otago District Council. We are a relatively big employer in town and we deliver some essential services to you, our community.
I am as concerned as you are about the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and what feels like a quickly escalating situation, so I want to share with you what CODC is doing to play our part in ensuring we delay and minimise the impact of this virus in our workplace and across the district.
We are committed to flattening the curve so that the spread of COVID-19 is low and slow, both within our workplace and across the Central Otago district. This is vital because we want to make sure our health providers can focus on those people that need them most. It also protects the vulnerable in our community, those people most at risk of this pandemic.
So, we have some clear expectations within our workplace:
- If you feel sick, stay at home
- Practise excellent personal hygiene
- Look after yourself – bolster your immune system by having good sleep habits, eating well, exercising regularly and getting time in the sun.
We are also making sure our people are operating in a safe work environment by:
- Providing sanitation stations and lots of reminders about good hygiene
- Testing computer and phone systems to be sure they will cope if we need to work from home. All staff with mobile devices will be doing a trial from home on Thursday morning (19 March) to test our systems. So if you need to speak with someone, give them a phone call rather than coming in to the office. Don't worry though, our front desk will still be open for regular walk-in enquiries
- Looking at rostering arrangements that allow people to work from home, and finding ways to spread everyone else throughout the office to allow greater personal space
- We are also getting creative about how to provide community engagement opportunities that avoid people coming together in confined spaces. For example, our Startup Central Think Drink session on Wednesday evening will be piloting a Facebook live networking session.
We are doing all of this to keep our people safe and to make sure we are able to keep doing the critical stuff a council should do – that's those essential services like water and waste collection etc. We have also increased the intensity of our cleaning services at public toilets/facilities.
We will continue to circulate updates from the Ministry of Heath, as they come to hand, and recommend people visit their website for up-to-date information and guidelines on the virus: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
COVID-19 is testing all of our thinking and is a constantly changing environment. So we are thinking one step ahead all the time and will make sure that we continue to bend and flex as the situation changes.
In the words of our Mayor, please remember to be calm and kind to each other, and proud of the way we come together to deal with this pandemic.