Community calendar suspended

The Kiama Community Calendar has been temporarily suspended.

The Australian Government has advised people to practice social distancing as much as possible, and placed restrictions on the number of people who are allowed to gather for social purposes.

These restrictions have been put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 through the Australian community and save lives.

There are more than 50 COVID-19 patients currently in the Illawarra, and a number of them have been hospitalised.

The virus is highly contagious, and primarily spreads through person-to-person contact.

Mayor Mark Honey has urged the community to heed the COVID-19 measures announced by authorities.

Councillor Honey said he was disappointed many people were ignoring advice about social distancing, mass gatherings and bulk buying.

"On the weekend a number of our beaches were crowded, and pubs over flowing, so much so police were called," Cr Honey said.

"The simple message is: the party is over. If your lifestyle hasn't changed, you are not taking this pandemic seriously.

"Please follow the advice of authorities when it comes to staying at home, and avoiding unnecessary trips and visits.

"This is not the time to go down the coast to your holiday house or caravan, or visit your relatives for a birthday."

As school students are soon to be at home, it is important for adults to show leadership when it comes to COVID-19 precautions.

"Our youngsters will need support and instruction when they are at home," Cr Honey said.

"This is not a holiday, but a public health emergency.

"We need to demonstrate a level of discipline. If we don't take this seriously, why should our kids?"

Cr Honey said Kiama Council has a business continuity plan to ensure it can continue to operate during the pandemic.

The council has established a COVID-19 Response Team which meets daily to consider our actions regarding our staff and our community.

The council is taking the following actions, which includes the closure until further notice of:

Allcommunity centres and halls including the Pavilion (effective immediately)

SENTRAL Youth Centre. Alternative services will be provided by phone and online (effective immediately)

All council face to face committee meetings have been cancelled and will be conducted by other means (effective immediately)

The Leisure Centre and Jamberoo pool (closed 23 March)

The Visitor Information Centre (effective immediately)

The Old Fire Station gallery (effective COB tomorrow)

Libraries (effective COB tomorrow Tuesday 24 March)

Fire station - close of business tomorrow

All rock pools.

These decisions have been made so that the council is not actively facilitating gatherings in enclosed spaces.

Kiama has a higher proportion of elderly people in the community and measures need to be put in place to protect their health.

For the safety of staff and to ensure business continuity, council administration staff have also been split across three locations and within spaces that ensure adequate separation.

Please adhere to the NSW Health advice regarding social distancing, hand washing and coughing and sneezing into your elbow or tissue.

Residents, visitors and businesses are urged to stay up to date regards COVID-19 by referring to NSW Health: www.health.nsw.gov.au

The council is following the advice and directives of NSW Government agencies regarding COVID-19. and has established a dedicated web page to keep you up to date with operations and links to relevant government, public health and emergency services: www.kiama.nsw.gov.au/covid-19