TLDMG to stand-up in preparation for COVID peak

The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) has moved to ‘stand-up’ level of activation as the city prepares for further increases in COVID cases and any possible impacts the wider spread of the virus may have on the community.

Group chairperson and Townsville Mayor, Jenny Hill, said the city might not see its peak in COVID cases for around two-to-three weeks.

“We have seen in Sydney and Melbourne the flow-on effect that high COVID case numbers is having on the community,” Cr Hill said.

“Workers furloughed because they have the virus or have been deemed a close contact has led to staff shortages and disruptions to supply chains in many sectors,” Cr Hill said.

“Moving TLDMG to stand-up will bring government and non-government agencies together to share information and resources in an effort to minimise local impacts.”

TLDMG had been at a ‘lean forward’ level of activation since March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“TLDMG has been supporting the Townsville Hospital and Health Service (THHS) as required, specifically in the identification of, and logistical support for, COVID testing sites to complement the primary testing site at 1300Smiles Stadium,” Cr Hill said.

“However, as we transition from a pandemic phase to an endemic phase in the management of coronavirus, we are faced with new challenges that require a greater response and increased collaboration between agencies.”

Townsville Hospital and Health Service chief executive Kieran Keyes said the move to stand up the TLDMG aligned with the health service’s activation of the Health Emergency Operations Centre last week.

“I’ve spoken to the Mayor and we will be working closely together as cases peak to ensure our community is informed and supported at this time,” he said.

“We know that the health directions are a moving feast as the spread of this variant accelerates and critical to our collaboration with TLDMG will be parallel and partnered messaging so that our community knows exactly what it has to do.

“We have already started to put plans in place to manage a scale back in service delivery in elective surgery, outpatient appointments, oral health, endoscopic, and community care as our own staff contract COVID or are close contacts,” he said.

“We also need to ensure we are ready to respond to COVID cases that may require a higher level of care.

“History has shown us that in times of crisis, the Townsville and North Queensland community has no peer and I’m confident that we can, and will, get through this by sticking together, having each other’s backs, and listening to, and following, the advice of health and civic leaders.”

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