Delivery of services to vulnerable Fifers is under review as more cases of coronavirus are diagnosed across the UK.
Fife Council chief executive Steve Grimmond said there was a “real anticipation” of quick change in the coming days, just before First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a shift to the delay phase of the country’s response.
An incident management team is leading assessment of how the local authority continues to provide services such as meals-on-wheels and care for elderly amid the pandemic.
As a third case of coronavirus was diagnosed in Fife, Mr Grimmond also said there could be significant financial implications for the council.
Outlining contingency planning at Fife Council’s meeting on Thursday, he said: “The council has already instigated its incident management team to ensure our own preparation for organisational response and to put in place appropriate resilience and business continuity arrangements in response to what is a fast developing situation.”
Referring to delivery of meals, social work services and care home provision, he said: “Each of these services through the incident management team are currently reviewing their existing business continuity arrangements in the event of a significant impact.
“There are plans in place in relation to business continuity which would recognise the need to continue essential services while there might be a significant impact on the very staff who are providing those services.
“They are in train, that’s not to say it’s going to be easy, depending on how this develops.
“At this point in time there’s no significant impact, but that’s not to say that won’t change quite rapidly.
“There might well be significant financial implications for the council in relation to the delivery of those services, depending on the nature of the development of coronavirus.”
Mr Grimmond also said that staging of events and meetings would also require to be considered in the move to delay phase.
Community and housing services convener Judy Hamilton warned that many people, including those on zero hours contracts, the self-employed and those having trouble with benefits, could be plunged into extreme hardship.
Mr Grimmond said the council was alive to the potential for hardship and that the fund announced in the government’s budget recognised that significant hardship was emerging as a consequence of the virus’ spread.
He said: “We are pursuing clarification of how that might be available and whether or not it will be available to support work local authorities do in that area, particularly through the welfare fund.”