No COVID-19 cases in shire as local authorities remind residents to keep calm



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Douglas Shire Council CEOm Mark Stoermer, has urged residents to remain calm as Council continues to run essential services. Image: Supplied.

The Douglas Shire Council is urging everyone to remain calm in the face of the COVID-19 virus outbreak and is assuring residents that Council is prepared for any potential impacts.

Queensland Health has confirmed there have been no cases of the virus detected in the Douglas Shire to date, dispelling rumours that had been circulating about cases in the region.

Council has said it is taking a precautionary approach and following advice from the lead agency, Queensland Health.

Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Stoermer, said senior management would continue to meet regularly to minimise the impact on the community.

“The key here is to remain calm and practice good hygiene,” he said.

“Our management team has plans in place to ensure the continued supply of critical services such as water, wastewater and waste collection and disposal.

“Over the next few weeks, some staff will be trialling working from home and practicing other social distancing behaviours to prepare for any outbreak.

“We have also raised awareness to all staff in line with the national advice.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced several measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, which included the banning all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people.

Council has said it is currently reviewing Port Douglas Carnivale 2020 in line with this health advice and a decision will be made once Council has spoken to sponsors, suppliers, performers and contractors.

The Port Douglas Markets will continue to operate for now until such a time that Council believes the level of attendees exceeds the health authorities’ advice.

“Council is closely monitoring the situation and senior management is meeting regularly to review business operations and service delivery,” Mr Stoermer said.

Council is encouraging anyone, including stallholders, who may have symptoms to avoid the area and practice social distancing.

Council is aware of the challenges faced by our businesses and will work with all levels of government, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, and the Douglas Chamber of Commerce to support our business sector.

The Douglas Local Disaster Management Group is liaising with core members, advisors and the District Disaster Management Group.

Anyone with concerns can call 13 HEALTH or find up-to-date reliable information on the Queensland Health website at

Queensland Health also advises that only people who meet the following criteria will be tested for COVID-19:

• fever or respiratory symptoms AND
• have travelled to overseas in the past 14 days OR have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

If you fit this criteria, the Hospital and local GP's advise that you call ahead and follow instructions.

Worried? Take the COVID-19 coronavirus quiz.

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