COVID-19 threat leads to event restrictions

Hawke Alexander TBW Newsgroup
SHOW GOES ON: Millicent High School students Brianna Hawke and Megan Alexander admire the creative minds behind the Geltwood Festival’s decorated gumboot challenge. The pair intend to see all 400 examples later this month in the former Millicent Central Hub building. Picture: J.L.”FRED” SMITH

THE threat of the coronavirus has prompted several community events across Millicent and district to be either cancelled or postponed.

The Geltwood Festival Committee met in Millicent on Tuesday afternoon and decided all of its public events will be cancelled.

Its ever-popular exhibition openings and workshops have been delayed until 2021.

It had already been decided over the weekend to cancel the Geltwood Street Market and Lions Family Fun Day which had been scheduled for March 29.

However, some arts-related displays will continue.

Decorated gumboots will be on display in the former Millicent Central Hub in George Street, Quilts for a Cause will be on at the Millicent Visitor Information Centre and Stitches and Threads on Display will line the walls at the Millicent Gallery.

The fifth annual Murder at the Millicent Museum melodrama will not take place on March 28 as it has been postponed.

There will be no Easter Saturday street market at Beachport next month.

Market organiser and Beachport District Development Association president Ros Brown said the market will not be re-scheduled.

“Our next market will be held leading up to the Melbourne Cup in November,” Ms Brown said.

Another coronavirus-related impact is evident at Wattle Range Council, with dozens of volunteers temporarily stood down
from their duties.

Millicent Library, Lake McIntyre, Penola’s Greenrise Lake and council’s three visitor information centres will not be serviced by volunteers.

Council chief executive Ben Gower said the withdrawal was done to minimise the risk to the volunteers, many of whom have a heightened risk profile.

“This is also a reflection of a noticeable decrease in the use of our facilities and therefore a reduction in resource requirements,” Mr Gower said.

The list of cancellations follow a Federal Government ban on all non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday.

Restrictions and limits on visitors to aged care facilities are in effect, but schools will remain open.

Millicent’s aged care providers Sheoak Lodge and Boneham Aged Care Services are now in partial lock-down owing to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Anyone who has been overseas or in contact with a confirmed case of the coronavirus within a fortnight is now banned from visiting all aged care homes across Australia.

Aged care residents are now only able to receive one visit a day, with a maximum of two people visiting.

No school groups will be allowed to visit under the new protocols.

It is expected that persons under the age of 16 will be banned unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Mr Morrison said the disruption caused by coronavirus could last at least six months.

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