COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that has not been previously identified in humans.

The virus causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever and in more severe cases, pneumonia. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face.

The first case reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) was on 31 December 2019. It has since spread across the world, with WHO declaring the disease a pandemic on 11 March 2020. 

Australia's response

The Prime Minister, State and territory Premiers and Chief Ministers meet on a regular basis to make announcements addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 virus.
At the 22 March 2020 National Cabinet meeting they agreed to further actions to support social distancing measures already put in place and protect the Australian community from the spread of coronavirus.

The following facilities will be restricted from opening from midday local time 23 March 2020:

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues 
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).

WA's response

Western Australia is working closely with the Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictional governments to respond to the outbreak of a novel Coronavirus that has recently been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

The pandemic is managed in WA under the State Emergency Management Act 2005 (EM Act), and WA Local Government Association (WALGA) has been participating in State Emergency Coordination Group meetings as the Association is legislated under the EM Act to represent the sector.

The Western Australian Government will implement new restrictions and arrival requirements to travel to Western Australia from other Australian States and Territories - by road, rail, air and sea- in response to COVID-19. 

  • Unless exempted, arrivals from interstate will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Exemptions will apply to essential services and essential workers, including health and emergency services, defence and policing, mining industry workforces, flight crews and freight of essential goods, via ports and trucks – with strict guidelines in place to monitor and manage this.
  • There will also be exemptions granted on compassionate grounds and where people live near border communities.
  • Arrivals will have to show they meet the essential arrival criteria to be granted an exemption.
  • Enforcement of the border restrictions will be rolled out with checkpoint stops.

This will be enacted through a formal declaration under the Emergency Management Act. Effective from 1.30pm (WST) Tuesday, March 24 2020. 

Click here to access the Western Australian Government Pandemic Plan

Kimberley Travel Restrictions

The Direction is that you must not enter a local government area from another local government area (in the Kimberley) unless it is necessary for the person to do so for the purpose of:

  • returning to the person's principal place of residence.
  • attending the person's place of employment or fulfilling the duties of the person's employment, office or occupation.
  • being the primary carer for a family member or someone for whom the person has primary caring responsibility.
  • escaping the threat of physical or psychological harm or because of some other emergency (other than from COVID- 19).
  • obtaining a good or service: without which the person would be likely to suffer physical or psychological harm and which is not reasonably available in the local government district in which the person is present.
  • attending primary, secondary or tertiary education (including technical and further education) as a student; enabling the education of someone for whom the person has parental or other primary caring
  • of fulfilling their obligations under a parenting plan, parenting order of a court or other parenting arrangement.
  • obtaining or providing veterinary or animal welfare services not reasonably available in the local government district in which the person is present.
  • compassionate reasons affecting that person. Compassionate reasons means the incapacitation of a member of the person's immediate family or household due to serious injury, serious or life-threatening illness or death.
  • performing an Essential Service and it is necessary for the person to enter or leave a local government district for that purpose.

The person

  • is in the custody of a police officer, prison officer, custodial officer or custodial services contractor.
  • the person  is an employee  of the Department  of Education  or staff member of a non-government school and is authorised in writing by the Director General of the Department of Education to travel from one local government to another local government district; or the person is a member of the immediate family or household of a person referred to (in this paragraph).
  • is required to do so by law.
  • does so with my approval (Commissioner of Police) or the approval of another authorised officer and complies with any terms or conditions to which that approval is subject.

Essential Service

  • National and State Security and Governance: Senior Govt officials, active military personnel, Governor of WA or Administrator of WA and members of the Governors Establishment, Ministers and Members of State, Commonwealth or Territory Government.  A member of State Parliament may be accompanied by one member of his or her staff who are travelling to the electorate represented by that
  • Health Services: a person who is requested by the Chief Health Officer, or the Director General of the Department of Health, or the delegate of any of those officers to assist in the provision of health services in a local.
  • Transport, Freight and Logistics any person who in the course of their duties is responsible for provision of transport, mail, courier, freight and logistics

Specialist Skills:

  • any specialists required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of competitive operation, where the service is time-critical.
  • any person who, in the course of his or her duties is responsible for critical maintenance or repair of infrastructure critical to a local government district or to Western
  • any person employed or engaged in agriculture, food production or primary industry.
  • persons who ordinarily travel from one local government district to another for work purposes for regular periods according to established work schedules (such as, for example, fly in-fly out (FIFO) workers).

Other essential services 

  • persons providing essential or urgent health or medical services or
  • persons providing human services including, without limitation, disability, aged care, family violence, child protection and housing services.
  • any person employed or engaged in the provision or maintenance of utility or waste management services.
  • any emergency services worker or person engaged by an emergency service in a volunteer or contracted capacity.
  • any person employed or engaged in provision of funerary or mortuary services or related

Prohibition on Travel Between Local Government Districts in the Kimberley Directions.

Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley response

The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley continues to take direction and advice from relevant State and Federal Government agencies that are leading the response during the ongoing global development of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We remain concerned about the scale and severity of this pandemic, and the critical role we play in keeping members of our community safe and informed moving forward.

Council has implemented a number of measures to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19:

The Shire is proactively ensuring all facilities are cleaned thoroughly with anti-bacterial chemicals daily, ensuring hand sanitiser is available at Shire facilities and ensuring up-to-date, trusted information is provided on the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley website.

Impacts to the Shire’s essential services including waste collection and operations at the Shire Landfill Sites in both Wyndham and Kununurra will continue as usual.

The following Shire facilities will close as of midday Monday 23 March 2020, until further notice:

  • Kununurra Leisure Centre (including the Swimming Pool)
  • Kununurra School and Community Library (closed to the public)
  • Wyndham Recreational Centre
  • Wyndham Pool
  • Peter Reid Memorial Hall Wyndham
  • We are currently exploring contingency plans for all Council meetings - this will include the use of video conferencing facilities, teleconferencing and pared-back agendas
  • To ensure the ongoing provision of essential services the Shire provides the community, contingency plans have been reviewed, updated and activated.

Trusted Sources of Information

The WA Department of Health and Premier and Cabinet has declared the HealthyWA website and State Government Coronavirus page as the single sources of truth as the situation with this pandemic is changing daily. It is important to not follow information from unofficial sources. 

For all Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley Latest News updates, including media releases, click here.

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