The Balonne Shire Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) has adopted 10 as the maximum number of people gathered in one location for community activities in the Shire in an effort to contain the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The group yesterday moved to Alert status as a result of the global pandemic and is urging event organisers to reconsider holding events.
LDMG chair Richard Marsh said the group had the responsibility to ensure the safety of communities in the Balonne Shire.
“We want our community to be informed and alert, but not alarmed, about this virus. Under the guidance of the lead agency, Queensland Health through the South West Hospital and Health Service, we have decided to urge organisations or businesses hosting events in the Shire over the coming months to either cancel or postpone to help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
“As a small Shire we cannot cope with any reasonable sized outbreak of COVID-19 resulting from an event and to ensure the containment of any spread of the virus the LDMG thought it prudent to make 10 the maximum number of people gathered in one location for a community activity.
“For example, the current COVID-19 data shows that some of those affected may require ventilation. The St George Hospital has only two ventilators on site which would not only be required for COVID-19 affected patients, but for patients admitted with heart attacks, strokes and other serious medical issues.
“Our communities simply do not have the infrastructure to cope with any increase in demand on those resources.
“We are asking event organisers to consider the well-being of the wider community and postpone or cancel their event until later in the year.
“Council has cancelled its proposed ‘thank you’ events in Dirranbandi, Bollon and St George which were being held for community members, volunteers, emergency services personnel and others who assisted in the 2020 flood event.”
Mr Marsh also thanked the Balonne communities for their patience during these trying times.
“This pandemic is serious and we have to put the safety of our residents ahead of anything else. We haven’t had any reported cases of COVID-19 in the Shire and we’d like to try and keep it that way,” he said.
“The LDMG understands there will be some frustration due to the impact of virus containment measures, but we ask for your patience and understanding.
“If we all work together we will get through this global crisis.”
For information on COVID-19 please go to https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19