Council’s Esk Office is among the sites closing down from today.
Council’s Esk Office is among the sites closing down from today.

Somerset council confirms more closures to stop virus risks

COUNCIL sites throughout the Somerset will be shutting their doors to the public for the foreseeable future from the end of today.

Council already closed its visitor information centres and art galleries on Monday, and many more sites will follow by day's end.

At 5pm, the Esk Administration building, and Lowood and Kilcoy customer service centres will close until further notice.

Some council staff will continue to work behind-the-scenes, spaced out between the Esk administration building and the Somerset Civic Centre, with workstations set a safe social distance.

Inquiries and services can still be accessed by visiting somerset.qld.gov.au or by phoning 5424 4000.

 

Libraries and Loans

The public libraries at Esk, Lowood, Toogoolawah and Kilcoy will also shut down, with all scheduled activities and events postponed or cancelled.

"Commonwealth have requested the closure of libraries from today," Director of Corporate and Community Services Matthew McGoldrick said.

"We've had a lot of people come through already, grabbed a whole heap of books, and the team have been encouraging people to try Borrow Box. It enables you to at least read an ebook, or listen to a book."

Though the physical branches will be closed, digital content will remain available through online for those with a Somerset Libraries membership number.

People who have items out on loan are advised not to try to return them.

Items which have been reserved will remain so, and be available upon the reopening of the libraries.

 

Further closures

Further closures to other public sites have also been confirmed.

"All our sporting and recreation facilities will be closed as of today," Mr McGoldrick said.

"Swimming pool attendances were already low, and the manager of all four facilities had asked on a number of occasions to close them."

Mayor Graeme Lehmann said council had been working hard to keep these sites open for as long as possible, while still remaining safe for visitors and staff.

"With the increase of confirmed cases of coronavirus across the West Moreton Health District, advice has been received via the Local Disaster Management Group that council should now move to close all customer service centres, libraries and pools," he said.

"Regardless of the closures, council staff have innovated and will continue to offer customer service to our community, albeit by different approaches."

 

Cleaning services

Cleaning and maintenance of essential services such as public toilets will continue, with tenders going out to request more cleaners.

Cr Lehmann reminded residents to observe recommended practices to reduce the risk of infection being spread.

"Once again, it is important that we all continue to take advice from state and federal authorities and keep personal hygiene and social distancing top of mind," he said.