Invercargill City Council has also decided to close Splash Palace and its libraries at the end of business today. It is understood Southland District Council will make a decision about its area offices and libraries this afternoon.
UPDATED: Release from ICC
Splash Palace, along with Invercargill and Bluff libraries, will be closed to the public from the end of today.
Invercargill City Council Chief Executive Clare Hadley said the decision to close these public facilities was not taken lightly, and was based on recent announcements and guidance in relation to Covid-19.
“We feel this is the responsible action to take to help protect those most vulnerable in our communities, and our staff,” Mrs Hadley said.
Splash Palace and Invercargill and Bluff Public Libraries will remain closed until further notice.
Splash Palace will close at its usual time of 8pm tonight. Invercargill Public Library will close at its usual time of 4pm today.
Mrs Hadley said library staff were working to investigate ways their services may be offered in-line with government recommendations to maintain physical distance.
“We hope to have further information on what these services may look like next week,” Mrs Hadley said.
As this is a rapidly evolving situation, this information and guidance may change. People should keep up to date by visiting www.covid-19.govt.nz
For information on specific Council services, visit www.icc.govt.nz/covid-19-information
Invercargill City Libraries and Archives have digital services available, and guidance on what to do with your library books here: coronavirus-covid-19-latest- updates
Release from Gore DC
The Gore District Council has this afternoon decided to close the Gore and Mataura libraries, and Gore Multisports Complex at the end of business today.
The decision follows today’s announcement by the Prime Minister and the increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 52, including two that were suspected of being community transmitted.
Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said it was a difficult decision to close the District’s libraries and multisports complex until further notice, but the only option for the sake of the community.
“The message from the Prime Minister and health officials is quite clear – to slow down the spread of COVID-19 we need to restrict our movements and interactions with each other.”
Both the library and multisport complex were considered risk areas due to the high number of users and that they were popular venues with the elderly.
“The Gore District has a disproportionately high number of elderly residents, a demographic that is most at risk from the virus.”
Mr Hicks appealed for residents to follow the clear guidelines set out today and to go to trusted sources for information, such as the COVID19.govt.nz website.
“We need to be calm, be kind and be prepared.
“There will be a lot of questions from customers and staff around exactly what the closures mean.”
More information will be sent out on Monday after a meeting of senior staff, Mr Hicks said.
At this stage the Council’s main office and the Gore Visitor Centre will remain open, although protocols will be stepped up to protect staff and customers.
The Council will be considering alternative ways for council staff to work, such as remotely.
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