With the recent COVID-19 spike in Victoria and visitors testing positive in neighbouring shires, WDHS Chief Executive, Rohan Fitzgerald says we must all ‘do our bit’ to protect our community.
Mr Fitzgerald, says the current COVID-19 spike is not unexpected, particularly if you look at the international experience, but it does demonstrate how quickly things can change.
“We’ve watched on as the world has struggled to implement suppression, containment and in some cases elimination strategies.
When the local lockdown came to an end, we were hopeful that our hard work would pay off and that we would return to our normal lives.
Sadly in only a few short weeks the threat of COVID-19 has reappeared and with no vaccine, we need to continue to rely on each other to stop the spread of this devastating disease,” he said.
Mr Fitzgerald says authorities are working hard to test, trace and quarantine, but we must all act responsibly by practicing social distancing, washing our hands and staying home wherever possible.
“People need to continue to ‘do the three’ and to get tested if they have symptoms. If you’ve already had a test, you might need to come back again and again over the coming months, even if your symptoms are mild.
We also need to look out for each other and not stigmatise people who test positive. Sometimes when we fear the unknown we look at the world through an ‘us’ and ‘them’ lens.
We know that stigmatised people feel isolated and abandoned and this can also impact on people coming forward for testing and treatment.
In the Southern Grampians we are fortunate to live in a community that has always demonstrated high levels of compassion and during this crisis it’s more important than ever that we treat people with kindness and respect.
It might feel like ‘groundhog day’ but we’ve got to continue to do the fundamentals and work together as a community – that’s our best defence,” Mr Fitzgerald said