COVID-19 Pandemic Information – 3WBC Operations

Written by on March 14, 2020

MARCH 22nd 2020

The 3WBC Committee of management and the wider community takes seriously the health and wellbeing of our presenters, members and all members of our community.

3WBC is an organisation that is staffed solely by volunteers.  A large percentage of our membership and presenter base are those over 60 years of age who statistically are more susceptible to the symptoms of the virus and their devastating impacts.

We do not want to overstate the issue or cause panic.  This plan is designed to provide guidance to our presenters and members on how we are tackling the issue in respect to our ongoing operations.

With this in mind, we have decided on the following measures to hopefully limit any exposure to our membership and presenter base.

Summary of the information outlined below:

  • All programs are permitted one (1) person per program.
  • No guests or visitors are permitted in the studios.
  • Limit your time in the studios.  You can arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to your shift and you must leave within 5 minutes of your program completion.
  • Observe appropriate hygiene techniques.
  • Use Antibacterial wipes on appropriate surfaces.
  • Advise as soon as possible if you have been diagnosed with a case of Corona Virus or have come in contact with someone who has been diagnosed.
  • If you are uncomfortable coming into the studios, contact us and we will make other arrangements.
  • Station Management will advise if we need to shut down regular programming.

Presenter Survey

We are looking to collect information ahead of our presenters meeting.  This will help us ensure your contact details are up to date and we proceed with action that is in line with our presenter cohort.

Please complete the survey here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5GXV2X6

Presenters Meetings

An emergency presenters meeting will be held Tuesday night.  To access the meeting you use the details below:

We will be using “Go To Meeting”.  You can use this via:

  • The browser on your computer.
  • The available apps via your app store,
  • The dial in number by telephone

Please note the access code below to access our specific meeting.

Meeting Access Details

3WBC Emergency Presenters Meeting
Tue, Mar 24, 2020 7:00 PM – 7:45 PM (AEDT)

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/513737125

You can also dial in using your phone.
Australia: +61 2 8355 1038

Access Code: 513-737-125

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:
https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/513737125

Box Hill Town Hall Closure

As of 9:45pm – Sunday March 22nd, we have not been advised of the closure of the town hall hub (for the purposes of 3WBC operations).

This is a fluid situation and we are in regular contact with facilities management to determine the impact on our facilities.

If there is a requirement to shut down the Box Hill Town Hall hub facilities, we will advise all presenters that programming is suspended.

As this will be at the discretion of the City Of Whitehorse, we will work with them in the event that this occurs.

Box Hill Town Hall management advised they are monitoring the situation and are taking a ‘watch and act’ approach. 

We are in regular contact with the Box Hill Town Hall management and will advise if the situation changes or we need to provide further information.

Note: There has been no indication at this time that the facilities will be unavailable.

CBAA Advice – Community Broadcasting Operations

The CBAA are seeking advice as to the designation of Community Broadcasting as an essential service.

As of Sunday evening – March 22nd, no response has been received. We will advise when practical.

Studio Etiquette

We ask all presenters to be thoughtful of other presenters when they use studio equipment.

Each studio has been equipped with antibacterial spray. It is safe to lightly spray this at a distance of 40 – 50cm above the panel.

Where possible, antibacterial wipes will also be supplied within the studios.

We also ask that presenters follow the rules below:

  • You are only permitted one (1) presenter per program.
  • From Friday, March 20th presenters are no permitted to have guests physically in studios. All interviews must be by telephone.
  • In addition to guests, no visitors are allowed within the studios.  The only exemption to this is when a presenter is under 18 years of age or requires assistance accessing the studios.
  • Bring in and use your own headphones. While we haven’t done so yet, we will consider removing all headphones from the studios so you must bring your own in.
  • If you do not have your own headphones, wipe or spray the units before use.
  • Consider purchasing your own microphone socks for use on studio microphones.
  • Additional microphone socks have been acquired and will be in the studios today (March 19th).
  • Do NOT use microphones without microphone socks.
  • Limit the use of kitchen facilities. If you do, wipe them down before and after use.
  • Observe appropriate hygiene practices.  Washing your hands and avoid touching your face when in the studios.
  • Due to the shortage on antibacterial wipes, I have been unable to procure them for the studios. Please consider bringing your own in.
  • SOME PRESENTERS do not answer phones in the studios.  It is important that any phone calls directly through to studios are answered in a timely manner. This is the key manner on which we may need to contact the on duty presenter in the event of any issues.

Arriving and leaving the studios to present programs

  • All presenters MUST  arrive no more than 15 mins prior to their program start.
  • Presenters should leave the studios within 5 minutes of the completion of their program.
  • Refrain from entering the office.
  • If you require information at any other time, please email or phone the station manager.

Personal etiquette/considerations

If you feel unwell, it is advisable that you should not present your program.

If you are unable to come into the studios, you must follow the following etiquette:

  • Contact John Farmer, Paul Hooper or myself (Phil Edwards) when you are aware that you will be unable to attend the studio.
  • If you are aware that you are unable to attend the studios within 5 hours of your program, please contact the presenter on air before you to advise of your absence.
  • There is no shame or expectation that you must be present if you are feeling unwell.  This relates to any illness and is not related specifically to coronavirus related symptoms.

It is important that you speak to someone to make them aware that you aren’t coming into the studios.

Note: While it is preferable that if we have an unexpected absence that we will continue with live programming, this is not always a viable option.  If you are unable to attend, your program will be likely replaced with pre-recorded material.

In addition to standard personal and studio etiquette, please follow the guidance from the Australian government in relation to self-isolation if required:  https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

Presenters on air when a colleague is unavailable

If you are on air when a fellow presenter calls, please ensure that:

  • John Farmer, Paul Hooper or myself (or any other committee member) has been contacted.
  • If we don’t have a fill in presenter available (and you are unable to fill in the program) please put the stacker on at the completion of your program.
  • Advise any future presenter (where possible) that there will be no presenter preceding them.

If you are unaware on how to operate the “stacker” please ask your fellow presenters or send an email to confirm.

Corona Virus (COVID-19) action plan

We have a number of considerations to take into account as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it may impact 3WBC operations.

In the event that a presenter (or a guest who has been in the studio) goes into self-isolation after experiencing contact with a confirmed case OR experiences symptoms themselves, we are asking presenters to contact John Farmer, Paul Hooper or myself (or any other committee member) IMMEDIATELY.

This will activate our response plan.  If this is initiated, we will:

  • Shutdown 3WBC live programming immediately.
  • Inform the Box Hill town hall management of our actions.
  • Investigate what other presenters the impacted person had contact with.
  • Advise other impacted presenters of the situation.
  • Begin a thorough cleaning process of the studio facilities.
  • Undertake any relevant processes in line with government advice.

We will only return to live programming when we are advised it’s safe to do so.

Outside Broadcasting equipment.

We have 2 sets of outside broadcast equipment. These have now both been moved offsite.

This will ensure that in the unlikely event of studio shutdown, we can restart broadcasting in a limited manner until the studio facilities become available again.

It’s unlikely that we will need to use this option, however contingency planning is required.

Conclusion

As you can appreciate this is an evolving situation that can change at any time.  However, we believe we have an action plan in place that utilises the information we have available now within the framework provided by the government and local authorities.

Should restriction of movement or other methods of containment be required, we will advise as soon as possible.

If you have further questions or suggestions towards our approach, please feel free to contact me directly.

Thanks for your time and stay healthy and safe.

Phil Edwards – President

On behalf of the Committee of Management

94.1FM 3WBC


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