As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to develop, Swale Borough Council has begun activating plans to maintain essential services across the borough.
At present, council meetings are being scaled back to only those we are legally required to continue, and we are awaiting government advice on running these remotely - either online or by phone.
Council officers have begun working remotely, and for now council offices remain open to the public for essential services such as supporting rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness.
Cllr Roger Truelove, Leader of the Council, said: "These are serious times and we - officers and members of the council - will do all that is possible to protect people from this virus and maintain the services and decision making that we have to do. Over the last few weeks, we have been preparing for the potential impact on the borough. It is highly likely our services will be affected in some way, but we have been planning what we can do to minimise any disruption.
"Before any impacts become apparent it is important that people know where to get the right information. People should check our website and social media accounts for information and updates. We are already working with our partners across the public sector as part of the county-wide response to the outbreak, and we will continue to support each other throughout this crisis. We must also think about how we, as members of our communities, can support each other. When friends and neighbours are isolated, we need to support them too. Practical things like help with shopping can be a lifeline, but something as simple as a phone call to let them know someone cares can be a great morale boost.
"Our local businesses that employ thousands of people across the borough will most likely be affected, and it's vital that we all support them however we can. We don't know when this will end, but we do know that it will, and I want us to know we did everything we could to help each other through this difficult time."
For information and advice about council services impacted during the coronavirus outbreak, visit www.swale.gov.uk/coronavirus.
National information about the current situation, including travel advice and updates on what action is being taken, is available on the Gov.uk website.
More specific health advice is available on the NHS website.
If you are feeling unwell and worried about your symptoms, use the online NHS 111 coronavirus service. Do not go directly to your GP, pharmacy, hospital or other healthcare setting.