Council well prepared for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Date published: 16 March 2020

Townsville City Council is well advanced in their preparedness for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Mayor Jenny Hill said Council had both a pandemic plan and business continuity plans which were activated a month ago when the virus first started making global headlines.

“Our role is to help protect our workforce and community and maintain essential services to the city,” Cr Hill said.

“We have been working closely with Queensland Health and will continue to do so in order to help slow this virus down so that our health services can do what they do best,” she explained.

Council’s pandemic plan includes ensuring IT systems are tested and ready for the appropriate staff to work from home, implementing corporate travel bans, increasing hygiene in workplaces and community venues and separating teams.

Cr Hill assured the community that Council would maintain essential services and that local health services were well placed to deal with the virus.

“We are ready for appropriate staff to work from home should they need to, and we also have plans underway for teams to separate and work from different locations to secure business continuity,” Cr Hill said.

“Our priority is to keep our employees and residents as safe as possible while maintaining the services that are essential to our community.

“I have every faith in our local health services, and we will continue to work in full co-operation with them.”

In relation to the large events and gatherings, Council will take the direction of the State Government.

“We are preparing to postpone and cancel larger events as appropriate and will be making all our decisions in the best interest of our staff and community,” Cr Hill said.

“We will be updating the community on the impacted events as soon as possible to make sure everyone is well informed.”

Cr Hill also urged people to keep calm and stay informed from official sources.

“Things are changing quickly and there is a lot of misinformation. We will do our best to share the information we are receiving but I encourage people to get their information from official sites like Queensland Health.