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'No longer business as usual' says Highland Council in response to coronavirus situation

By Scott Maclennan

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Highland Council chief executive Donna Manson.
Highland Council chief executive Donna Manson.

Highland Council has said it is “no longer business as usual” as it responds to the rapidly changing coronavirus situation.

In a statement the council's chief executive, Donna Manson, said the local authority is working closely with partners including NHS Highland and the emergency services.

Meetings of the council's resilience team are being held daily.

Mrs Manson said: “The situation is rapidly changing and we are planning and preparing for the weeks ahead. We are following national guidance on public health and acting on government instructions regarding specific matters.

“It is clearly no longer business as usual and we are prioritising services, in order to ensure the delivery of essential and statutory services, including caring for our most vulnerable people.

“There is no closure of schools at this time, however we have been advised to cancel school trips outwith Highland. We will also be cancelling staff travel to meetings and non-essential training and work outwith the Highland area.

“We will be taking national advice on the recommendation to cancel events with more than 500 people. We will seek clarification on this and will issue further communication on what this means for events in Highland.

“The council will also suspend any planned public meetings and engagement sessions over the next few weeks and restrict non-essential staff travel in order to support the national efforts in delaying the spread of coronavirus.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners in the resilience partnership to respond effectively and proactively to the situation in Highland, and to protect the most vulnerable and support our emergency services.”

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