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Community Information - COVID-19

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Stage 4 restrictions are in place from 6pm on Sunday 2 August for metropolitan Melbourne. 

A number of Kingston’s services are currently impacted in line with these restrictions.

To find out how local services are impacted see Services and events below.

 

General Coronavirus information

For specific up-to-date information or advice about Coronavirus (COVID-19) visit the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website. Their information is regularly updated and provides specific health and medical advice, including targeted information for:

Information about travel restrictions is on the Smartraveller website.

If you suspect you may have Coronavirus, please call the dedicated DHHS hotline on 1800 675 398.

 

COVID-19 community and business support package 

Kingston Council has announced a $2.8 million assistance package for the community and businesses to help alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The package is designed to offer support to local businesses, community groups and vulnerable residents. The business and community support package includes:

For residents:

  • Rate payments deferred until 30 June 2021 for residents who apply under Council’s Hardship Policy. Apply online or download printable form 
  • Any interest from unpaid rates (2019/20) will be waived. Interest will not be added until after 30 June 2021.
  • The due date of payment for the Rates Fourth Instalment has been extended from 31 May 2020 to 30 June 2020.
  • Childcare fees waived in extreme hardship at Council’s childcare services (parent fees only, government portion still applies)
  • Animal Registration fee due date extended until 30 June 2020

For businesses:

  • Rate payments deferred until 30 June 2021 for business who apply under Council’s Hardship Policy. Apply online or download printable form 
  • Refund of current Health and Food Premises registrations
  • Refund of current Footpath Trading fees
  • Commercial rents of Council buildings waived for 3 months (up to 6 months if State of Emergency remains in place).
  • Family Day Care Educators Fee waived for 3 months (up to 6 months if State of Emergency remains in place).

For sporting/Community Groups:

  • No rents for Community Groups/Sporting Clubs for 12 months
  • No Winter season rents for Sporting Clubs

All enquiries on this package can be directed to info@kingston.vic.gov.au or please call 1300 653 356.

 

Services and events

We are closely monitoring the evolving situation and will continue to support DHHS as they work to ensure the health and safety of all Victorians.

See below for a listing of council services and how they are impacted.


Essential services

Essential Council services that are currently running as normal (subject to further government announcements) include, but not limited to:

  • All bin collections (please ensure bins are easily accessible to minimise the need for drivers to get out of the vehicle)
  • Community and childhood immunisations (all immunisations now require a booking; to book a time slot, please call 9581 4870)
  • Maternal Child Health consultations will continue, with short face to face consultations for young babies and telehealth and phone consultations for infants and toddlers
  • Planning permits
  • Aged and disability service including:
  • Personal care
  • Unescorted shopping    
  • Escorted shopping only if required e.g. to get to a bank, pay bills
  • Delivered Meals
  • Essential domestic assistance
  • Urgent home mods and home maintenance
  • Assessments by phone
  • As an extra service during this time we will also be conducting welfare checks by phone and in person if required.

Current closures

  • Council’s in-person Customer Service and Planning counters at Cheltenham and Chelsea remain closed. 
  • Child Care and kindergarten are now closed. 

Council can still assist you with any queries via:

Phone: 1300 653 356

Online: Service requests and payments or click on the orange chat bubble in the lower right hand corner of the page.

Email: info@kingston.vic.gov.au

Social Media: FacebookInstagramTwitter



Beaches

Kingston’s Beaches remain open for exercise - including walking, running and swimming. Please ensure State Government restrictions are adhered to.


Business information

If your business has been affected by coronavirus, there is a range of information, support and stimulus packages available.

To find out how your business can get help visit business.vic.gov.au or phone 13 22 15.

Business.vic.gov.au is a single entry point for the Australian business community to access information from all 3 levels of government and has a dedicated customer service team currently available from 7am – 9pm, 7 days per week.

Information available online includes:

  • Coronavirus business support - Advice, updates and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus.
  • Business Support Fund - Assistance for Victorian small businesses impacted by coronavirus.

 

City of Kingston COVID-19 community and business support package 

Kingston Council has announced a $2.8 million assistance package for the community and businesses to help alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More on the support package

 

Local traders still open for business

Kingston Council has created an online business directory to help promote businesses to the local community to encourage support in these unprecedented times.

If you are a local business that's still operating in some way, in-line with government regulations, please fill out this form.

You can also contact the Business Directions team via business@kingston.vic.gov.au.



Community Bus Service

Social outings on the Community Bus have been suspended.

Residents who wish to access AccessCare services can call 1300 819 200.



Community Centres

All Council-managed centres are now closed and our team is contacting regular centre visitors to keep them informed.  

Centres affected: Carrum Activity Hub, Chelsea Activity Hub, Clarinda Community Centre, Melaleuca Activity Hub, Mentone Activity Hub, Moorabbin Activity Hub/NG Wishart, Patterson Lakes Community Centre (see media release), Sundowner Community Centre, Westall Activity Hub.

There are also seven non-Council managed community centres in Kingston.

Please contact them directly to find out how their services are impacted. 

Non-Council Centres: Aspendale Gardens Community Service, Chelsea Heights Community Centre, Cheltenham Community CentreDingley Village Neighbourhood Centre, Longbeach Place, Mordialloc Community Centre & Mordialloc Neighbourhood House.



Community Sport

Community sport is cancelled until further advice is received from the government. Tennis courts are now closed. 



Community Support Hotline

Kingston Council and local support services are working together to support our community during the COVID-19 crisis.

Our Community Support Hotline can offer information and connect you with local support services including: 

  • emergency food aid
  • home support services
  • financial counseling/assistance
  • family violence support
  • mental health services

Phone our friendly team during business hours on 1300 653 356 if you are facing difficulty, looking for information or need a little extra support during the COVID-19 crisis.

Our trained staff are available during business hours to assist. 


Council Meetings

City of Kingston Council meetings are continuing to be conducted online. The public is still welcome to watch via our regular live streaming service.



Customer Service / Planning Counters

Council’s in-person Customer Service and Planning counters at Cheltenham and Chelsea are temporarily closed.

Council can still assist you with any queries via:

Phone: 1300 653 356

Online: Service requests and payments or click on the orange chat bubble in the lower right hand corner of the page.

Email: info@kingston.vic.gov.au

Social Media: FacebookInstagramTwitter



Events in Kingston

Citizenship Ceremonies

Traditional, in-person ceremonies have been cancelled until further notice, in their place online citizenship ceremonies are now being conducted via secure video.

Conferees may choose if they wish to participate in an online ceremony or wait to be invited to an in-person ceremony sometime in the future. Conferees awaiting an invitation to a ceremony will be contacted to make arrangements for an online ceremony. Further enquiries should be directed to the Department of Home Affairs on 131 880 or at virtual.citz.ceremony@homeaffairs.gov.au 

 

Community events on Council Land

In line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, all events and activities planned on Council land (that require a permit) are cancelled until further notice.

If you have an event scheduled to take place on Council land in the next six weeks, we recommend you action a postponement or cancellation and notify all parties.

Any new event applications with an date between 9 July and 13 September will be declined upon receipt. 

Applications for future events beyond 13 September will be accepted and placed on hold. Processing will commence when restrictions are eased to a level that accommodates the number of attendees detailed in the application.

Submit an event application now.

 

Events in Council Buildings

Council has written to all lease holders who hire Council buildings to recommend they cancel all non-essential gatherings at the venue and ensure any gatherings that do proceed meet the Government’s social distancing measures.



Family and Children's Centres

We are currently working through State Government advice relating to the Family & Children's Centres and will provide an update as soon as possible.



Family Day Care and Playgroups

Family Day Care 

In line with the Victorian Government's Stage 4 restrictions, educational services will be closed from Thursday 6 August.

The City of Kingston will continue to heed the advice of the Chief Health Officer and the Department of Health and Human Services as the situation evolves.

 

Playgroups

Council’s supported playgroups are currently suspended.

Families requiring support and advice will be kept in contact via the phone. 



Family Support Services

Kingston’s Family Support Services will continue as usual.



Farmers' Market

The next Kingston Farmers' Market is scheduled for Saturday 5 September. A risk management plan is completed ahead of each market to ensure it adheres to the most current social distancing guidelines and State Government restrictions. The police will also be making regular patrols to ensure social distancing rules are adhered to.

The Farmers' Market is considered essential - providing farm-fresh produce to the community. During COVID-19, with the closure of restaurants, cafes, and a need to cook more at home, it is even more important to have farm-fresh produce direct from the grower and producer available to the local community. There will a number of rules in place to adhere to social distancing restrictions at Kingston Farmers’ Market during this time.

  • The market will be widely spread out to allow social distancing and customers must wear face coverings. 
  • Customers are requested to come to the market, shop and leave, with no social gathering.
  • There will be no tables and chairs at the market, with limited takeaway food available, which is not to be consumed at the market.
  • Stallholders have different set-up configurations. Previously, where multiple customers could enter a marquee, only one customer at a time will be allowed at this market.
  • Fruit and vegetable stallholders with open displays have been requested not to allow customers to self-serve.
  • All stallholders will have 1.5 metre distance markers outside their stalls, so please stand on the markers whilst being served or waiting to be served.
  • Most stallholders accept debit and credit cards, so please use if possible. However, cash is still legal tender and will be accepted.
  • There will be no sampling of food at the market.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available for use at the market entrance.
  • Hand washing facilities are available in the toilets at the reserve.


Immunisation Service

Scheduled Immunisation Sessions are now operating as Appointment only sessions. Please call 9581 4870 to leave a message with your name, date of birth and phone number. You will get a confirmation call back.

Visit the Immunisation Service page for more information.



Kingston Arts

The City of Kingston has temporarily closed our arts centres. Please check the Kingston Arts website for online programs.

If you need to speak to us about a refund, please call our box office on 9556 4440.



Libraries

All Kingston Libraries temporarily closed

All Kingston Library branches are temporarily closed until further notice in line with State Government restrictions. 

Read more on the Kingston Libraries website

 
What online services are available?
  • Live stream storytime - each week day
  • Access other Storytime sessions: children’s storytime, baby rhyme and author talks on our website or YouTube
  • Online training courses
  • e-Books
  • e-Audio Books
  • Watch a movie with our free streaming service

Our friendly team are available via phone to help you access any of our online services.

Phone us during business hours on 1300 135 668.

 
What do I do about my borrowed books?

You will not be fined, all loans will be extended. However, if you wish to return your items, all of our branches have external return chutes that can be used anytime. 



Maternal and Child Health & Breastfeeding Services

Maternal and Child Health Service

Maternal & Child Health consultations for parents/carers of young babies aged 2, 4, and 8 weeks will be short face to face consultations to undertake physical and developmental assessment, weight checks and breastfeeding support at the Maternal and Child Health Centre, supplemented by telehealth support.

For infants and toddlers, the Maternal and Child Health consultation will be held via telehealth with the parents/carers.

 

Breastfeeding Service

Feed and chat drop-in sessions have been temporarily suspended. Breastfeeding consultations will be provided via telehealth, with face to face consultations where necessary.



Out of School Care

Before and After School Care programs

Kingston’s Before and After School Programs operating hours are dependent on advice from the Department of Education given to State Government schools. Families will be informed of any changes to the regular operational hours.

School Holiday Program

Our next program is scheduled to commence on 21 September to 02 October 2020. Enrolments will open closer to the program date.



Parks and playgrounds

Playgrounds, skate parks, exercise equipment and BBQs are closed in all Kingston reserves. 

Exercise/walking can still take place in parks and reserves, however please ensure State Government restrictions are adhered to.

Please note, group exercise is banned.



Rates

Rates deferment/payment arrangement

If you are experiencing financial hardship, you can apply to defer your rates or enter into a payment arrangement. Apply online or download the printable form.

 

Interest

Any interest from unpaid rates (2019/20) will be waived. Interest will not be added until after 30 June 2021.

 

Rate relief options 2020/21

It has taken a little longer to develop the budget this year, which includes a Community Support Package for the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that rates won't be out until mid-late August. Your rates information pack will include more information about the support options available. 



Sharps disposal

Council offers a free sharps disposal service, which is vital for some in our community such as diabetics.

Containers can be dropped off at our Cheltenham office, 1230 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham, Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 5pm.

For vulnerable customers (elderly or immune compromised) who are quarantined due to COVID-19 and unable to collect new sharps containers, please contact our Customer Care team on 1300 653 356.

You can also exchange sharps containers at a number of participating pharmacies in the area.



Waste and Recycling services

All City of Kingston waste services will continue as normal.

Please continue to put our your rubbish bins for collection at your usual time, ensuring bins are easily accessible to minimise the need for drivers to get out of the vehicle.



Waves Leisure Centre

Waves Leisure Centre is temporarily closed until further notice in line with State Government restrictions. 

 

Staying active at home 

Check out the Kingston Active website or Waves Facebook page for ways to stay active during this time. 

 

What happens to Swim School Classes and payments?

All students enrolled on a Learn to Swim membership will remain enrolled with no direct debit payments processed.

  • Direct debit payments are currently suspended, and upfront paying members will receive a credit for cancelled lessons. If you wish to discuss a refund, please get in touch.
  • All swimming lessons will be suspended until Waves reopens and government restriction relating to learn to swim programs are eased.  Once lessons recommence, direct debit payments will recommence. 
  • We encourage you to keep your enrolment active, so as to ensure your child has their desired class to return to.
  • Customers who were enrolled in Term 2 and entitled to a term credit, will have credit applied to their account which will be available for refund if desired. Details as to a priority re-booking period for when lessons re-start will be sent out once a re-start is scheduled. 
Memberships

Membership fees will continue be waived and suspensions applied. We will reassess membership fees in line with the easing of restrictions.



Youth Services

Youth Services will continue to provide 1:1 counselling and support.

The Youth Centre will be closed with most groups and activities available online.

Please contact Youth Services on 1300 369 436 for further information about how we can support you.


Health and Wellbeing


COVID-19 Community Survey

Community Survey

Share your views to help us better support the Kingston community during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Kingston Council has launched a survey to check-in with our community during COVID-19 and on the road to recovery. 

The results will help Council provide targeted support services, respond to changing community needs through these challenging times and make sure we are caring for our community.

By taking part, you can provide up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19, how our community is responding, and any gaps in local support services. 

How can you help? Simply sign up to take part in a short ongoing survey: weekly for the first 2 months and then a monthly check-in. The survey will take about five minutes to complete and includes a range of topics including:

  • What challenges are you facing from social isolation?
  • Do you have any concerns around catching the virus?
  • How you are getting information on COVID-19?
  • What is providing relief for you during this time?
  • Do you feel safe?
  • What do you think the economic implications of COVID-19 will be?

Access the survey to get started. 

Please note: You will be required to read the registration information and give your consent to participate prior to commencing.

If you have any questions regarding the survey please contact Council’s Community Capacity Officer Michelle McLean on 1300 653 356.

Results

The COVID-19 Survey results will be published here regularly. 

From the 202 responses collected between 13-21 May 2020 the following insights were identified:

  • A lot of people adapted to using technology to remain connected (89% of people)
  • Around half were worried about being infected, but most (97%) had access to facts and information on quarantining
  • 41% were worried that they or their families wouldn’t recover if infected
  • Physical activity was cited as the main activity providing relief
  • The main concern people had about being isolated was the loss of connection with their social support network

Read the full report for more results.



Physical Health

If you are unable to leave your home due to isolation restrictions, you may be tempted to spend more time on the couch or being sedentary. There are plenty of benefits to regular physical activity, not only does it reduce the risk a heart attack or developing heart disease, it can help you feel more energetic, have stronger bones and muscles and feel happier and relaxed.

Any physical activity is better than none! Always check with your doctor before starting if you have any medical conditions that may affect your ability to exercise.

The Heart Foundation suggests:

  • Any physical activity is better than none – try to move in as many ways as you can throughout the day
  • Build up to 30 minutes a day – Build up to 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity this is the equivalent of a brisk walk that makes you puff a little, but still able to have a conversation
  • Moving about while at home – ideas include gardening; de-cluttering; tracking your steps (aim for 10,000 per day); developing your own short exercise routine and doing it several times a day; walk up and down stairs; marching on the spot
  • Try a free workout on YouTube – there are options for all fitness levels, from yoga and strength workouts to Pilates and high intensity interval training (HIIT).

For more ideas online see:



Healthy Eating

VicHealth recommends:

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Keep ultra-processed and sugary foods (eg biscuits, muesli bars, sugary cereals) to a minimum.
  • Don’t panic if you can’t find a food item at the supermarket – get creative. Pasta and rice can often be replaced with potato,bread or wraps. Mince can be replaced with mushrooms, lentils, chickpeas or tofu.
  • Choose high-fibre foods, such as fruit and vegetables and wholegrain cereal and bread, to keep your digestive system regular.
  • Try to stick to a normal eating pattern and avoid too much snacking from the cupboard now you’re working at home (eg three meals a day plus two snacks).

You can search for healthy recipes online, or try using the resources below:



Mental Health

As social beings, humans crave connection. Spending more time at home to help stop the spread of the virus is particularly challenging. Now more than ever it is important we maintain connections with others.

  • Consider scheduling your regular social catch ups online e.g. Zoom, Skype, Facetime. Most of these can be done on a smart phone.
  • Conference calls – add up to 5 or 6 people to your phone calls using a smart phone.
  • Check in with others who may be feeling lonely –  helping others (even through a phone call) can help you focus your energy in a positive way.

The Great Lockdown Self-Care Bingo Challenge

Try this great self-care bingo challenge or come up with your own. Download the Great Lockdown Self-Care Bingo Card to play on your own, or challenge your family and friends.

 

Tips for managing anxiety during COVID-19

 

Support services

  • Beyond Blue: Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service (includes telephone support; online community forum; information, advice and strategies; and Suicide and crisis support)
  • Lifeline - 13 11 14
  • Griefline 1300 845 745 
  • Mensline 1300 789 978
  • Black Dog Institute - online clinic
  • This Way Up - online courses covering a range of mental health concerns
  • MindSpot - a free service for Australian adults experiencing difficulties with anxiety, stress, depression and low mood
  • Eheadspace - 1800 650 893 for online and webchat support and counselling for 12-25 year olds, their family and friends


Working from home

For advice and information on working from home:



Children and families

Activities and resources for things to do at home

Visit the following website and resources to find an activity that you and your family can enjoy:

Information and resources for parents

 

Services and crisis support


Older people

COTA Australia Older Person's COVID-19 Support Line for Senior Australians, their families and carers can FREECALL 1800 171 866 if they:

  • would like to talk with someone about what COVID-19 means for them or a loved one
  • are feeling lonely or distressed or are worried about a loved one feeling the same?
  • are caring for a someone and need some information or a listening ear about what COVID-19 means for your circumstances.
  • are worried about COVID-19 means for their usual aged care service
  • are worried about a friend or family member living with dementia.

The Black Dog Institute myCompass for Seniors provides online mental health advice and support.

 

Coronavirus advice for older people 

People aged 70 years and over, people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions, people with compromised immune systems, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50, are at greater risk of more serious illness if they are infected with coronavirus.

Wellbeing support

The Older Person's COVID-19 Support Line 1800 171 866 Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm (except public holidays)

Senior Australians, their families and carers can call the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line if they:

  • would like to talk with someone about the COVID-19 restrictions and the impact on them
  • are feeling lonely or are worried about a loved one
  • are caring for someone and need some information or a listening ear
  • need help or advice about changing the aged care services they are currently receiving
  • need help to access new care services or essential supplies such as shopping
  • are concerned about a friend or family member living with dementia.


Staying safe

Smoke alarms 

Smoke alarms don’t last forever, you should replace them every 10 years

  • Smoke alarms with 10 year battery life are available at your local hardware store.
  • Test your smoke alarm monthly
  • Practice your home evacuation plan and to have a meeting point such as the letter box
  • Do not overload power boards
  • When cooking keep looking, never leave cooking unattended as approximately 5 out of 10 house fires start in the kitchen
  • Never leave doors deadlocked when inside your home.

Family Violence

With the situation around COVID-19 continuing to unfold, it is important we continue to look out for each other and ourselves, and know there are several support services available if we, or anyone we know, are experiencing family violence and its impacts.  Heightened stress, potential family disruption, social isolation and increased financial pressures can compound or exacerbate the underlying conditions that lead to family violence. This makes education and awareness central to providing effective responses. 

For immediate help and support

  • In an emergency or if someone is in danger, please call 000 immediately. 
  • 1800RESPECT National sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service 1800 737 732 - 24 hour phone and web chat or for accessible services.

Gambling

With gambling venues closed, some Victorians may be feeling anxious, stressed or bored. Some people may turn to other forms of gambling to cope. Gambler's Help support services remain available for anyone who might be affected by gambling issues. Gambler's Help is available on 1800 858 858, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

You can also try the 100 Day Challenge that offers 100 alternative activities to help resist the urge to gamble an focus your energy on other aspects of life.

 

Alcohol

Spot your drinking warning signs

  1. Just one more: The number and frequency of drinks are creeping up
  2. Drinking earlier in the day: When routine tasks like basic cooking and working from home KPIs start to slide
  3. Isolation fatigue: Stress, boredom, depression, kids on overdrive - all triggering you to pick up a glass
  4. Trouble sleeping: Trouble getting to sleep, mood swings, irritability
  5. Overwhelmed by emotions: More arguments, more often, Outbursts leading to distress and violence at home
  6. Takes more to get the same feeling: It takes more and more drinks to get the same feeling

If you recognise these signs and are concerned, call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation's DrugInfo line on 1300 85 85 84. It's free and confidential.



Diverse language and accessible resources

Easy read resources

The Council for Intellectual Disability has produced three easy read documents to assist people with intellectual disability during COVID-19: 

Translated Coronavirus resources

Health Translations is an online library which enables health practitioners and those working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities to easily find free translated health information. Access the database of translated coronavirus information.

Auslan updates

Expression Australia is providing regular Auslan only video updates accompanied by a English text summary.

Services Australia have 2 audio products about COVID-19 in 12 languages:

The audio files, along with the transcripts, can also be accessed at Affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).



Online events

To help keep Victorians connected – and help keep our creators creating – the Victorian Government has launched Victoria Together, a new online portal showcasing the best our state has to offer from live music and comedy, to the amazing animals at Melbourne Zoo.

For events run by Kingston community groups and organisations, visit mycommunitylife.com.au.


 

Last updated:3 August 2020 4:35pm