Living with COVID-19 - preparing for future impacts to service delivery

The City of Greater Bendigo is advising residents that they may experience future changes to service delivery as a result of COVID-19.

Chief Executive Officer Craig Niemann said as Greater Bendigo opens up and more people move around the community, it is inevitable City workplaces and community facilities would become exposure sites.

“We are all likely to come into contact with COVID-19 at some point,” Mr Niemann said.

“We have been fortunate that City sites have been largely unaffected, however at some point in the future parts of our business may have to close due to being an exposure site, which would lead to staff needing to isolate and not always will we have the capability to immediately fill any gaps,” Mr Niemann said.

“Last week an early learning centre in Maiden Gully was named as a Tier 1 exposure site, which impacted the Maternal and Child Health service we operate from the same building. Staff who were at the site at the time of exposure did test negative but they had to isolate, which has affected how we have run the service over the past week or so.

“This role is not easily replaced, so when we have staff shortages in this area we temporarily prioritise appointments with new babies and vulnerable children and reschedule appointments for older children.

“Recent changes in isolation requirements will help to reduce the impact on services and the length of time staff are unable to attend work, but there will also be more incidents like this, which will affect how we deliver services, particularly those that are public-facing.

“Our commitment is that we will either liaise directly with affected clients or share broad community messaging via the media and social media, where there is a large-scale impact.

“We are now seeing many schools and businesses having to close for deep cleans, so it is becoming increasingly common as we adjust to living with COVID-19.

“As much as we can, we are preparing for how we will respond but in some instances you can only plan so much and we will then have to consider the reality of whatever situation we find ourselves in.  

“We thank our community for their understanding and patience when these instances do arise. They will be out of our control but we will work as quickly as possible to put in place alternate plans and re-instate full service delivery.”

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