Dundee City Council has told some of its staff to self-isolate due to coronavirus – with a number of key services closing as a result.
With 27 confirmed cases in wider Tayside, the city council today said employees most at risk from the virus would be told not to come to work.
A number of council services will cease normal operations as well, following the news all Scottish schools will close from tomorrow.
A spokesman for Dundee City Council said: “The outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) is having a significant impact on Dundee City Council and its partner agencies.
“Greatly increased staff absence levels are already being experienced, and this trend is expected to continue over the coming days and weeks.
“National modelling estimates that councils will see absences of at least 50% over the months ahead. As a result, we will no longer be operating under ‘business as usual’ in order to focus on essential services.
“In line with current government guidance, a number of Dundee City Council staff who are at a higher risk from coronavirus have been advised to follow self-isolation measures.
“This group of people include those who are pregnant or have a specific underlying health condition.
“Anyone with any of the coronavirus symptoms is also advised to stay at home for seven days and their other household members for 14 days.
“In addition to this group, many council staff are also parents and will from next week have additional child care responsibilities, due to the national decision to close all schools and nurseries after Friday March 20.
“All these factors will significantly impact on the ability of the council and its partners to carry out our core functions. We ask that everyone is patient and understands that we are prioritising services based on need.
“The council will continue to focus on critical services, caring for the vulnerable, cooperating with our resilience partners and supporting economic recovery.
“To enable this, responses to enquiries or complaints about our current service provision may not be responded to within our normal timetables. Please follow our social media channels and check the website for regular updates.
“Some face-to-face services at Dundee House, East Office and West Office will be unavailable from the end of the day tomorrow (Friday).
“Members of the public are encouraged to use our online and telephone services at www.dundeecity.gov.uk and on 01382 433 558.
“The cash office will remain open in Dundee House to deal with Scottish Welfare Fund Crisis Grants.
“We are aware that many people are keen to do what they can to support communities, within the constraints of the complex situation we are in.
“We are playing our part in a collective city response which is urgently being finalised, and will ensure this is promoted to communities so that people are clear where to get help and how they can help themselves.
“In these unprecedented times, the support of communities as we and our partners focus our limited resources on those most in need is appreciated.”