Corona Virus doesn't stop your radio station
With the nation homebound and almost on a hold thanks to the corona virus, we often get questions like "How can you still be operating while there's all this need for social distancing and self-quarantine?" So here's our policy on it for you
- We're an essential service in the Hawkesbury. With print media shutting down all over the country, and fewer people getting to meet others in social gatherings, the local radio is the only way a lot of people stay connected. As always when there’s an emergency of any kind in the Hawkesbury, it's our job – our duty – to provide the way for local residents to connect with the rest of the community and to stay up with important goings-on in the Hawkesbury. When our temporary license requires us to stop broadcasting on 89.9FM, we continue around the clock on our streaming services you can pick up over the internet and through our apps on your mobile phone or tablet. Listeners can always connect with us by phone at 45 899 899 or by sending a text to our text line at 0427 899 899
- This doesn’t come without risks, however. There’s always a chance that our presenters could become infected if they are out of their houses to come to do their show. We have offered all our presenters the choice of not doing their show and we’ll find a fill-in for them or reorganise our programme schedule to accommodate this wish. A few have taken this choice and the option remains open. For those that still wish to come into the station to do their show, we have taken a number of steps to minimise their risk
- Everyne is required to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds prior to entering the station’s studios or offices
- Hand sanitiser has been provided in several places around the station and everyone coming to the station is encouraged to use it frequently
- Face masks are strongly encouraged when at the Station except when in the studio broadcasting
- All presenters have been given their own personal microphone protectors/filters (or ‘socks’) . This is the part of our equipment that gets the closest to any presenter’s face. The sock prevents the breath hitting the microphone and making that irritating ‘popping’ sound. Since it’s being changed each show to the presenter’s own ‘sock’ it also helps prevents the passing of infections from one presenter to another.
- The studio is being sanitised every few hours. Equipment is being wiped down and desks and other surfaces are being wiped with sanitiser
- Update: Two-person shows have been approved to continue because two mics in the broadcast studio allow the two presenters to sit more than the required separation distance apart, if they use diagonal spacing rather than the more normal face to face spacing.
- Everyone is required to stay at least 2 metres from anyone else while they are in the station’s premises. We don’t believe there is any need for anyone to get closer to anyone else for any activity at the station.
- Shift change is not a time for being social. Everyone is asked to leave the studio with all their belongings as quickly as possible, sign out and leave the premises as soon as they have completed all radio station tasks.
- Presenters feeling unwell with a temperature, coughing, headache etc have been told not to come to the Station, and to seek medical help.
Several members of the public have called the police, worried that we might be breaking the isolation rules. We have had two visits from the police now. In both cases they have looked at what we’re doing, how we’re operating and left again, satisfied that we are doing everything that can be asked of us to protect the public, our members, and anyone we interact with.
As long as we are able and the law allows, we will continue to serve the public of the Hawkesbury as we have done for around 40 years.