It's been a real tough couple of weeks as we've responded as a community to the COVID-19 outbreak. It has created a lot of uncertainty across our community. But now is the time to come together and work as a community to see us through this pandemic.
We've seen some panic buying across the region and no doubt it has created some anxiety. We have worked with supermarket operators to remove delivery curfews on supermarket loading bays to help them restock shelves.
I encourage everyone to stay calm, not panic and follow the advice from authorities, such as NSW Health. Council is taking a proactive approach to keeping the Lake Macquarie community updated as the situation progresses. The health and safety of our residents, customers and employees is our top priority and we are monitoring daily developments. The council's dedicated web page (lakemac.com.au/COVID19) has more information about how we're responding and links to NSW Health and the Federal Department of Health.
We encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions, including washing your hands regularly with soap and water, covering your mouth when coughing, and staying home if you are sick.
I also have been corresponding with the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle Local Emergency Management Committee, which is encouraging the community to practice social distancing by avoiding crowds. This is a very important measure.
Community events have been affected and we have cancelled and/or postponed activities including learn-to-swim classes, Belmont Beer, BBQ and Beats, all the over 55s events, all Me2 Program activities, as well as ANZAC Day services and NAIDOC Week celebrations.
I want to reassure everyone, that the council is planning and taking measures to keep our essential services operating.
At this stage, there is no disruption to core council services to the community, so services such as waste and recycling collections will continue as normal. We've also stepped up our cleaning programs so that everyone can be confident using our public amenities and playgrounds.
Look after one another and keep an eye on your family, friends and neighbours. To stay up to date refer to the advice from NSW Health.