Western Downs Regiona Council mayor comments on likelihood of COVID-19 hitting Dalby.
Western Downs Regiona Council mayor comments on likelihood of COVID-19 hitting Dalby.

MAYOR: ‘We could have an outbreak’

MAYOR Paul McVeigh is urging Dalby locals to keep their distance in an attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19, saying the virus could hit Dalby despite there being no confirmed cases in the town yet.

Confirmed cases of the virus have hit Chinchilla and Miles, with fears that Dalby could be next.

Cr McVeigh, however, has ensured plans are in place to stem the spread and support local businesses in the event of an outbreak, and in the months to follow.

“One of the most serious things we can do is to act on our government’s advice, and one of these things is socials distancing,” he said.

“We’re managing to minimise the expansion of it, so that proves that our social distancing is working.

“While we understand it’s very frustrating for people not to be able to go out and socialise and do their normal things in life, this will be here for quite a long time and we need to do it to protect the lives of our community.”

Cr McVeigh said the time to take the threat of the virus seriously was now.

“Everyone needs to be fully aware that if we don’t adhere to what the government is doing, we could have an outbreak,” he said.

“Currently we don’t so I hope the community keeps adhering to the social distancing so we can minimise the chance of the virus taking hold in our community.”

The mayor said council’s plans for the outbreak were more so directed at protecting the community and the local economy after the outbreak hits, and trying to avoid any disastrous consequences to the region.

The local disaster management group has been in regular contact with hospital staff and police, and Cr McVeigh said the group was “well prepared”.

“We hope we don’t have to act but we are prepared,” he said.

Cr McVeigh said while it was unlikely that the Western Downs would go into complete lockdown to the rest of the southwest, he requested locals follow the advice of premier Annastacia Palaszczuk by staying in the towns and suburbs, and observing social isolation rules.

He also urged the two confirmed cases currently residing in Chinchilla and Miles to observe quarantine mandates and stay away from the rest of the community.