Warrnambool City Council is warning people to prepare for staff shortages caused by the deepening COVID outbreak that may impact some of its home care services.
The shortages caused by testing delays and isolation requirements are starting to now hit retail stores in the city and planned events are being cancelled.
And council staff are not immune to the spread and it flagged its services might soon be impacted.
Mayor Richard Ziegeler called on the community to be kind and understanding with reports businesses were getting backlash from customers in shops, restaurants and supermarkets as the impact of the crisis started to bite.
Cr Ziegeler called on people to begin planning in the event they contracted COVID-19 or were required to isolate.
"Council staff are part of the community, just like everyone else so the number of staff we have to deliver services may soon be reduced," he said.
"Although we are doing everything to minimise any disruption to our services, initially, some home and community care clients may be contacted to discuss rescheduling a service they receive - services may include meals on wheels, home care, home maintenance, respite and social support services.
"Any changes will most likely be temporary and normal practices should resume when the difficult period is over."
From January 10, the Archie Graham Centre will close at 3pm. Patrons participating in afternoon activities will be able to leave after 3pm by prior arrangement.
Cr Ziegeler also encouraged everyone to have a COVID plan in place.
"Make sure you have a few days' supply of essential items, especially prescription medicines and talk to family, friends and neighbours about how you can support each other if one household has to isolate," he said.
"If you have no way of getting help, please call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398. Alternatively, you can call council on 5559 4800 and our staff will endeavour to connect you to a service that can help."
Cr Ziegeler said Warrnambool had led the charge when it came to getting vaccinated as early as possible, and the city's high vaccination rates would give us the best possible chance of avoiding the most severe health impacts of COVID-19.
"We are in a much better position to continue to live and work with COVID-19 in the community than we would have been previously," he said.
He encouraged people to book in their boosters if they were due.
"I'm proud that Warrnambool's capacity for community cooperation and compassion stands us in good stead during this time," he said.
Tracks Music Festival was cancelled on Thursday, just two days before it was due to go ahead.
It sees the loss of three years of hard work and planning for organiser Paddy O'Brien.
The decision to cancel was a "very difficult" one, he said.
"With acts, staff and contractors all out of action with the virus, as well as government restrictions, we will be unable to create an event to the standard that attendees expect and have paid for," Mr O'Brien said.
"We are devastated that all the work and effort has not come through for this one, we were so excited to show you all what we had in store."
He's calling for the community to support live music to make events like Tracks possible in the future.
"We ask really that you invest where you can and when things start to reoccur to get on board," he said.
Another event that won't be going ahead this weekend is Rotary Club of Warrnambool's fourth annual second hand book sale.
It was initially planned to run over Saturday and Sunday with the proceeds going back to the Rotary club to pour into community projects.
Rotary Club of Warrnambool member Anne Adams said with members' average age being in the high 60s, the organisation did not want to put volunteers at risk.
"It's also the unknown of what's going on at the moment with the COVID-19 case numbers," Ms Adams told The Standard.
"Our members are an older demographic. "All have had two shots but not all have had their boosters."
Ms Adams said the postponement would have little impact on their projects. The sale generates between $3000 and $4000.
Rotary Club of Warrnambool supports Warrnambool and District Food Share, Camp Quality's Warrnambool cabin, and were also looking at supporting some environmental projects in the coming years.
Ms Adams said they would assess whether the sale would be held later in the year.
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