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Disclaimer: Information provided below is for Ipswich City Council STAFF ONLY. Please do not share this page or information with anyone who are not current staff or contractors.

Public information about council's response to COVID-19 is available on:

Last updated: 05 Oct 2021 10:53am

As the state’s lead agency on coronavirus, Queensland Health are providing the necessary advice and guidance required. We encourage our employees, contractors and volunteers to keep themselves informed on how best to stay protected.

Queensland Health: COVID-19 Update
Australian Health: www.health.gov.au​

What is Ipswich City Council doing in response?

  • Maintaining regular open communication and support
  • Ongoing contact with local healthcare authorities, Australian Government and Queensland Health agencies
  • Communicating regularly key updates regarding coronavirus and changes to service delivery
  • Adapting our approach and use of spaces to manage events, gatherings and programs in accordance with current restrictions
  • Offering flexible working arrangements
  • Providing PPE, other protective equipment and resources
  • Supporting managers with team-based solutions that are fit for purpose
  • Circulating the importance of self-awareness and keeping informed on how best to keep ourselves and our community safe.

Do you have a question not answered here?

Please speak with your Section Manager or Branch Manager in the first instance. Please note the covid-19@ipswich.qld.gov.au email account is no longer monitored, and no responses will be provided. Please direct any enquiries to the relevant email address below:

About COVID-19

Ipswich City Council is guided by lead agencies Queensland Health and the Australian Government on information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As this information and what it means for Queenslanders evolves, ICC encourages our people to keep themselves up to date by following information provided by those lead agencies:

Queensland Health: www.health.qld.gov.au
Australian Health: www.health.gov.au​

Public health directions
https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions

Get tested if you're showing any COVID-19 symptoms. The Queensland Health advice is that if you have any infectious or respiratory symptoms (such as a sore throat, headache, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, cough or runny nose) don’t come to work.

Fever clinic locations
https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/stay-informed/testing-and-fever-clinics

Latest updates

Update 1 October 2021

Message from Sonia Cooper:

As you may be aware, as at 4pm yesterday, a number of Local Government Areas have returned to Stage 2 COVID-19 restrictions following several recent community transmission cases.

These areas are known as high-risk impacted areas and are listed as follows:

  • Brisbane City Council
  • Gold Coast City Council
  • Logan City Council
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Townsville City Council (including Magnetic Island)
  • Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council

While Ipswich City Council is not on the list, there are implications as many among us live in, travel through or visit these areas. What it means is any employee coming into Ipswich from any of these local government areas, must wear a face mask at all times indoors, regardless if they can maintain physical distancing or not, unless:

  • you are at your residence
  • you are eating or drinking
  • it is unsafe to wear a mask

In relation to our outdoor workforce colleagues, face masks are not required if you are able to continue to safely physical distance.

For those who live in Ipswich and do not travel to the high-risk impacted areas, our current conditions remain unchanged with face masks required when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

For more information about the high-risk impacted areas, go to Q-Health:

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/restrictions-impacted-areas

For more information about stage 2 restrictions: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/roadmap-to-easing-queenslands-restrictions#_stage2

As you would expect we will continue to monitor any developments in the restrictions over the long weekend and communicate any updates that are relevant.  If you have a laptop computer to do your work, you may wish to consider taking it home with you so that you are prepared in the event that lockdown restrictions are implemented.

Update  27 September 2021

Message from Sonia Cooper:

The Queensland Government updated restrictions for mask wearing on Friday with further slight easing.

What does it mean for our workplace?

From Friday 24 September 2021, indoors in the workplace you must wear a mask unless:

  • You are seated
  • You can stay 1.5 metres away from others
  • You are eating or drinking
  • It is unsafe to wear a mask.

Outdoors, you must wear a mask when you are unable to stay 1.5 metres away from people who are not from your household.

The latest information about mask wearing restrictions is available here.

If you have any specific enquiries or require any further information we invite you to contact your work safety and wellbeing partner https://wire.ipswich.qld.gov.au/Pages/safety-and-wellbeing.aspx.

We will continue to monitor Queensland Government requirements around mask wearing and provide updates as they become available.

Thank you all again for your support.

Update 27 August  2021

Message from Sonia Cooper:

As announced by the Queensland Government today, there is more relief and good news with most of the South-East Queensland restrictions easing further from 4pm today, Friday 27 August.  

Mask wearing restrictions will remain in place until 4pm Friday 10 September. In line with the latest Queensland Government advice you must:

  • carry a mask with you at all times when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to.
  • wear a mask in indoor spaces (including your workplace) unless you can physically distance (stay 1.5m apart from other people), it is unsafe or you are eating or drinking.
  • wear a mask outdoors when you are unable to physically distancefrom people who are not part of your household.

For more information about the restrictions from the Queensland Government, please visit the website here.

If you have any specific enquiries or require any further information we invite you to contact your work safety and wellbeing partner https://wire.ipswich.qld.gov.au/Pages/safety-and-wellbeing.aspx.

Thank you yet again for all of your support to keep each other safe and well.

Update 19 August  2021

Message from Sonia Cooper:

As announced by the Queensland Government yesterday, good news that some of the current South-East Queensland restrictions will ease from 4pm tomorrow, Friday 20 August.  

Mask wearing restrictions will continue for another week until 4pm, the following Friday 27 August however they have eased.  As per the latest Queensland Government advice you must:

  • carry a mask with you at all times when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to.
  • wear a mask in indoor spaces (including your workplace) unless you can physically distance (stay 1.5m apart from other people), it is unsafe or you are eating or drinking.
  • wear a mask outdoors when you are unable to physically distancefrom people who are not part of your household.

If there are reasons why you are unable to wear a mask in your workplace in this way, or if you meet the criteria for exceptions from wearing a mask, please reach out and speak with your supervisor to discuss suitable arrangements.

For more information about the restrictions from the Queensland Government, please visit the website here.

If you have any specific enquiries or require any further information we invite you to contact your work safety and wellbeing partner https://wire.ipswich.qld.gov.au/Pages/safety-and-wellbeing.aspx.

We look forward to seeing more of you back in our workplaces and thank you again for your compliance with these restrictions contributing to keeping us safe and well.

Update 8 August 2021

Message from Sonia Cooper:

As outlined in my email earlier today, South-East Queensland is now out of lockdown from 4pm today.  We’ve been waiting for further details from Queensland Health, however the update is yet to come, so we will communicate with what we know.

As announced by the Queensland Government, there are some restrictions that will continue to apply for the next two weeks including:

  • Wearing masks at all times (including workplaces) except when eating or drinking, or exercising with your household or one other person.

Our Ipswich City Council services and facilities that were closed will start to re-open from tomorrow morning.

You are able to return to your workplace from tomorrow,however, you must wear a mask in your workplace unless you are eating or drinking, this includes whilst seated.  If there are reasons why you are unable to wear a mask in your workplace in this way, or if you meet the criteria for exceptions from wearing a mask, please reach out and speak with your supervisor to discuss suitable arrangements, including working flexibly from home if possible. A link to the Queensland Health advice on mask wearing is Face masks — coronavirus (COVID-19) | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au)

For more information about the lockdown from the Queensland Government, please visit the website here. Messaging also includes avoiding travelling outside of the eleven Local Government Areas that have been in lockdown.

If you have any specific enquiries or require any further information we invite you to contact your work safety and wellbeing partner https://wire.ipswich.qld.gov.au/Pages/safety-and-wellbeing.aspx.

We will be in touch with further information as it comes to hand.

Thank you again for your compliance with these restrictions contributing to keeping us safe and well.

Update 3 August 2021

Message from Sonia Cooper:

Sharing an update with you all that to protect the health of the community, from 4pm Saturday 31 July 2021 to 4pm Sunday 8 August 2021, areas in South East Queensland are subject to new mask wearing restrictionsby the Queensland Government.

Masks must now be worn in any indoor workplace at all times, even where social / physical distancing is possible.

Masks do not need to be worn in an outdoor space, including a workplace, if you can social / physically distance from people who are not members of your household.

Click here to read more information.

The Restrictions for Locked Down Areas (South-East Queensland) Direction made on 31 July 2021 is replaced by this Direction.

We hope you are all continuing to stay safe and well.

Update 2 August  2021

Message from Sonia Cooper:

As announced by the Queensland Government this morning, the South-East Queensland lockdown has been extended until 4pm Sunday 8 August.

We ask that for the duration of the lockdown, you work from home if you can and are able to do so safely. For more information about the lockdown from the Queensland Government, please visit the website here.

Also, contract tracing location sites and details continue to be updated including the details for the Ipswich CBD Community Vaccination Clinic  and the Nicholas Street Mall published on Friday afternoon, the link the current details is Contact tracing (exposure sites) — coronavirus (COVID-19) | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au)

The current restrictions allow employees to travel more than 10km to collect equipment required for the purpose of completing essential work from home.  If you need to come into the office to collect equipment, we remind you to observe physical distancing and face mask restrictions while doing so.  If you are queried by anyone official you can provide your General Manager’s contact details or our People and Culture Manager’s details, Talia Love-Linay.

As the majority of us will be working from home and many have children home schooling, we appreciate the extra pressure and stress this can add to your day.  We ask that you speak with your supervisor in relation to your work arrangements and seek extra support if required.  Please visit our Staff Updates page for more information on employee leave and flexible work arrangements.

What options do I have if my school is closed and only open to children of essential workers?

  1. Determine with your supervisor if you are an essential worker.  
    Note: Essential work or volunteering refers to work or volunteering that is necessary to maintain essential services and supplies to the community, or to a part of the community, and that cannot be performed from the person’s residence. Click here for more information.
  2. If you are not deemed to be an essential worker, work from home if possible.
  3. If working from home is not possible, Carers leave can be used until exhausted (Branch Manager approval is required).
  4. If Carers leave is exhausted, Special Pandemic Leave can be used (up to 20 days), then annual or long service leave may also be utilised.  Manager and P&C approval is required, with advice from your relevant General Manager.

What options do I have if I have been asked to isolate/quarantine at home?

  • If it is safe to do so, you can continue to work from home. If working from home is not possible for whatever reason, these instances will be treated on a case by case basis, depending on individual circumstances.
  • In the first instance, please visit our 'Employment arrangements and leave tab' and read the FAQ section on the Staff Updates page for guidance. If after visiting this page you have further questions or need additional clarification, please reach out to our People and Culture team.

We will be in touch with further information as it comes to hand.  We ask you to be alert and prepared for the possibility that the lockdown will be extended.

If you are unclear on any aspect of the lockdown please seek guidance from your supervisor.

Physical distancing and good hygiene

Please note all recommendations are guided by directions from Queensland Health.

Public health directions
https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions

Council encourages our people to:

  1. Wash your hands often and properly: QLD Health Hand Washing Tips and video.
  2. Maintain 1.5 metres physical distancing: Physical distancing fact sheet. (PDF, 540.2 KB)
  3. Cover your coughs or sneezes with an elbow.
  4. Wipe down your workspace, kitchens, dining areas and meeting rooms  before and after use.
  5. Practice safe handling of materials: ICC Fact Sheet - Cargo, Mail and Paperwork (PDF, 528.0 KB)

What is physical distancing (also called social distancing) and how does it apply to a staff member and how is ICC implementing this?

A.     This involves remaining at least 1.5 metres away from other persons wherever possible, at all times. ICC has undertaken an assessment of each workstation to enable compliance with the 1.5m requirement.

Getting out and about - How many people can travel in a council vehicle?

Reduce staff numbers in vehicles wherever possible, staff to travel directly to site if practical.

We have a Qld Health exemption to allow a maximum of 4 persons per vehicle.  There are some caveats to this using existing controls and new control measures:

  1. Continue to use a vehicle log book to record the names and contact details of all persons sharing a vehicle for contact tracing purposes
  2. Sanitise and wipe down touch points in the vehicle before and after use
  3. Set the vehicle air con system to fresh air instead of recirculating
  4. Face masks to be worn by all occupants (except if driver is the only occupant)

Should we be wearing masks?

For information on current face mask restrictions in Queensland, please  refer to Queensland Health Mandatory face masks public directive. At this time, face masks are mandatory in all indoor spaces regardless whether you can physically distance or not.  Mask are required outdoors, unless there is no other person present other than another household member.

Wellbeing and mental health

Peoples health, safety and wellbeing is always a focus for council. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions. Some of these items also relate to the Employment Arrangements and Leave tab.

Fever clinic locations:
https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/stay-informed/testing-and-fever-clinics

1. I am feeling worried by COVID-19 and it is impacting my mental health – is there support available to me?

In situations that are uncertain and evolving such as this, it's understandable to feel stressed, anxious, or upset, among other emotional reactions. Council's EAP provider has published a range of self-help information and strategies to help deal with stress and anxiety directly caused by COVID-19.

Please click on the following link/s for further information. If you or your family need to speak to someone or seek further help you can contact our EAP service 24 hours a day on 1800 818 728.

Self care for employees during the Covid-19 Pandemic (PDF, 418.3 KB)
Self care for managers during the Covid-19 Pandemic (PDF, 423.0 KB)
Working from home during the Covid-19 Pandemic - Employees (PDF, 397.7 KB)
Working from home during the Covid-19 Pandemic - Managers (PDF, 467.9 KB)

There are also resources under the "Managers Toolkit" Tab that our leaders may wish to refer to.

Below are other healthcare resources available for support:

  • Head To Health
  • National Coronavirus Hotline - 1800 020 080
  • Queensland Health - 13 Health (13 43 25 84)
  • Queensland Government COVID-19 enquiries - 134COVID (134 268)
  • Red Cross - 1800 Red Cross (1800 733 276)
  • Lifeline - 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline for ages 5-25 -1800 551 800
  • Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636
  • Queensland Government Community Recovery Hotline - 1800 173 349

2. If I'm self-isolating or at home, how can I work on my wellbeing?

There are many ways to focus on self-care while at home. Some resources include:

Mental wellbeing — coronavirus (COVID-19)

3. My family member (husband/wife/child, etc) is unwell but I'm not sure if it's COVID-19. What do I do?

If a family member is unwell, carer's leave or annual leave may be taken to care for them. As directed by Queensland Health, all individuals with cold or flu symptoms, no matter how mild, should get tested immediately. Council workers should not attend work until the test results are known. You may work from home during this time if that is appropriate and approved by your Branch Manager. Please refer to the Leave options tab.

Employment arrangements and leave

Leave arrangements during COVID-19 pandemic have been compiled into an easy to use table for you to refer to when considering what sort of leave should be taken, under different types of circumstances.

Managing employment in the event of a health pandemic (Procedure): (PDF, 633.7 KB)
Leave Options During Pandemic (PDF, 565.7 KB)

This includes scenarios showing when pandemic leave may apply. If you have questions about these, please speak to your Section Manager or People & Culture Business Partner.

FAQs

1. I am a parent/caregiver of a student who attends a school that has been temporarily closed due to a confirmed COVID-19 case on campus. What should I do?

Follow the advice provided to you by the school and Queensland Health. If COVID-19 symptoms present for anyone in your household, get tested. Queensland Health as the lead agency is responsible for contact tracing and will advise if you or your student need to do anything. You are encouraged to alert your manager or People and Culture Business Partner to the situation so council can best support you. If a member of your household has been directed to take a COVID-19 test and they require care, carer leave should be accessed in the first instance to cover the time until the test result returns. SPL can be accessed if no carer leave available. If the person does not require care, then work from home if possible. If working from home is not possible take annual leave.

2. I know a person I work closely with is a parent/caregiver of a student who attends a school that has been temporarily closed due to a confirmed COVID-19 case on campus. I’m concerned because I sit near them at work that I might be affected, and in turn, might affect others. What should I do?

There is nothing you need to do currently. Queensland Health as the lead agency is responsible for contact tracing and will advise if you need to do anything. As with anyone, if COVID-19 symptoms appear, get tested. You are encouraged to alert your manager or People and Culture Business Partner to the situation so council can consider options and best support you if you’re feeling worried.

Working flexibly

The flexible working intranet page and resources provide answers to some commonly asked questions around ways of working flexibly.

Managers' toolkit

Opportunity to Learn
Lunch n Learn Session 1

FAQs

1. What do I do if one of my team members is sick?

The advice as outlined in the Queensland Government guidelines is: ‘In line with Queensland Health advice, if your team member has any infectious or respiratory symptoms (such as a sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, cough or runny nose) they must be advised not to come to work’

2. How should I be connecting with others while I am working from home?

Section Managers and Branch Managers should discuss with their teams their preferred method of communication and what frequency is best suited to ensure employees feel supported while working from home and managers feel they have the information they need to provide continuity of council services.

Please see The Wire page, Handy Microsoft Teams tips​ to assist in establishing a positive and effective WFH environment.

If you experience any ICT issues, please log a request via our Self-Service Portal. If your issue is urgent, call 3810 6716 for assistance.

3. Managing a confirmed case of COVID-19

Procedure for managing a confirmed case of COVID-19 (PDF, 651.6 KB)

Find out more

As an Ipswich City Council employee, if your mobile number is in E-Hub under your Profile, you can expect to receive emails, SMS alerts. You can view public information updates via

Public health directions
https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions

Fever clinic locations:
https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/stay-informed/testing-and-fever-clinics

Council employees are assured that the Executive Leadership Team continues to meet regularly to review any required organisational response, which is focused on following the guidance provided by health agencies such as Queensland Health. Further information will be shared with council employees as and when required.

Keep connecting with each other and sharing what you are learning, how ICC can best support you and consider how you can best support your colleagues as we move through this significant event. We thank you for continuing to show that support.