EVOLVING SITUATION: South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell asks the community to be 'alert not alarmed' during the COVID-19 situation. (Photo: Jessica McGrath)
EVOLVING SITUATION: South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell asks the community to be 'alert not alarmed' during the COVID-19 situation. (Photo: Jessica McGrath)

Council: What you need to know about COVID-19

THE South Burnett Local Disaster Management Group is urging the community to stay calm and maintain 'business as usual' while remaining cautious.

Mayor Keith Campbell said the LDMG remained at a 'Lean Forward' status and is meeting regularly as a group and with Queensland Health to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 event.

"I want to thank residents for their patience, calmness and understanding as the situation continues to evolve," he said.

"I ask people to be alert, not alarmed."

Cr Campbell said at this stage Queensland Health have confirmed there has only been one confirmed case of COVID-19, while people continue to be tested as required.

"Appropriate steps have been taken to manage this case." He said.

"I want to also reiterate that at this time there are still no cases in South Burnett schools or other public facilities."

Cr Campbell said the community should be aware that the police will continue to do random breath tests in the region as only static, multi-vehicle RBTs have been suspended to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Health response

All hospitals, including Kingaroy, have increased their preparedness.

Cr Campbell said a triage system has been implemented by Queensland Health and anyone who feels unwell and presents symptoms of COVID-19, should contact their local hospital.

Kingaroy Hospital has a dedicated triage nurse available from 9am to 4pm for those presenting with COVID-19 symptoms.

Staff will go through a required list of questions with community members who call the hospital and, if necessary, book in a swab test.

Residents will then be asked to travel to the hospital via car or the Queensland Ambulance Service.

Once they arrive, they are asked to remain in the car, alert staff by the phone and staff will collect you from your vehicle.

There will be an approximate 20 hour waiting time for results.

Hospitals can be contacted directly via:

Kingaroy -4162 9200

Kingaroy Triage 4162 9272

Murgon -4169 9600

Nanango -4171 6700

Wondai -4169 2600

Cherbourg -4169 8800

Cr Campbell said he's been advised that current evidence shows 80 per cent of people with COVID-19 will only experience mild symptoms and children from 0 to 19-years-old are least likely to be affected.

"There are some people in our community who will be at a higher level of risk and I ask that you keep in contact with neighbours, friends and family over the coming weeks to ensure their well being," he said.

When to self-quarantine

Anyone who has been overseas and is feeling unwell will need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date you left the overseas country, as of Australian Government announcements on Monday, March 16.

People who have been in close contact with someone who already has novel coronavirus must also self-quarantine.

Self-quarantining means staying at home or provided accommodation and not leaving for the period you are required to quarantine. Only those who usually live in the household should be at home and no visitors should be allowed into the house.

If anyone who is self-quarantining starts to feel unwell and develop symptoms, especially fevers, coughs, respiratory illness or shortness of breath, they should seek immediate medical attention and call ahead.

Public gatherings

As a precautionary measure to help slow the spread of COVID-19, all non-essential organised indoor gatherings of 100 people or more has been banned as of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's announcement on Wednesday.

This follows an earlier ban on outdoor gatherings exceeding 500.

Cr Campbell urged anyone who was feeling unwell to stay home from work and school and not attend public events.

Local Government elections

Elections will proceed as normal on Saturday, March 28.

Times for pre-polling have been extended to 9pm on March 19, 25 and 26 and to 5pm on Saturday, March 21.

Residents are invited to bring their own pencil or pen and a concierge will be available to assist elderly or at risk residents.

Mayor and divisional candidates have agreed not to physically hand out how to vote cards, with residents invited to 'help themselves' from a table.

Schools

South Burnett schools will remain open.

Controls and protocols will be in place to limit the introduction or spread of the virus including the promotion of personal health, hygiene and distancing, continuity of teaching and learning and reviewing of events and sport times.

Aged Care

The LDMG has contacted all aged care facilities within the region and will continue to keep them informed with the COVID-19 situation.

Facilities are acting with a level of heightened awareness in enacting their current influenza protocols while continuing to enhance their businesses.

Community members can stay up-to-date for health advice (www.health.qld.gov.au), travel and border advice (www.smartraveller.gov.au) and economic assistance for small businesses (www.qld.gov.au/about/industry-recovery).

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