Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill talked today on Council’s pandemic plan and business continuity plan in response to COVID-19. Mayor Hill seemed positive that Townsville is still low risk compared to other surrounding cities, with only 2 confirmed cases out of a population of 200,000. She encouraged Townsville that the council has put in a pandemic plan, but not to panic, to be cautious. Right now the only things being talked about are how the virus will affect events coming up, such as ANZAC Day and Groovin the Moo, as well as how businesses and staff in the city will be affected. Mayor Hill said “Our role is to help protect our workforce and community and maintain essential services to the city.” Their IT team has already looked into who all could possibly work from home if needed. They are looking into how to better handle blue collared workers or orange shirt workers who still need to continue working, yet how to minimize the spread of the virus if one of these workers were to contract the virus. She said they will have more clarity on public events and whether or not they will be cancelled or postponed tomorrow, Tuesday, 17th of March. As of right now public events have a more likely chance of being cancelled starting in April and going until further notice, however private events should still be able to go on, since the people going are being filtered and monitored. With talk about cancelling events, it means hotels will have last minute gaps to fill until further notice, and with Townsville having some of the nicest winter weather, Mayor Hill talked about the idea of hosting all NRL leagues and games right here in Townsville saying that she believes we would have the capacity to host them, if that is something the league wants to look into as things further progress. Mayor Hill states, “I have every faith in our local health services, and we will continue to work in full cooperation with them,” and will keep the community updated on the impacted events as soon as possible to make sure we stay informed. 

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