May 22, 2020
There’s been huge sacrifices made by local residents in a bid to keep COVID-19 out of Cherbourg. But what if the worst did happen and there were positive cases identified?
This is the reason a new building has appeared in town, courtesy of the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service.
The four-bedroom nurses quarters has been erected “just in case” the novel coronavirus does arrive in Cherbourg.
The new building will allow nurses to stay overnight so they don’t have to travel backwards and forwards from their homes to the community.
“It’s for safety for us in the community, and safety for our nurses as well,” Cherbourg Community Health manager Christine Stewart told Cherbourg Radio on Thursday.
Aunty Christine said the Cherbourg community was aware of what the virus could do as Community Health and Cherbourg Hospital have been doing a lot of promotion in the town.
If the virus did come to Cherbourg, a lot of people would die, however the hospital was prepared for an outbreak.
“Cherbourg is ready. Thanks to Ros (Director of Nursing Roslyn Hansen) and Tarita (Health Service Manager Tarita Fisher), Cherbourg is ready!” Aunty Christine said.
Cherbourg Council has been urging residents to prepare for a lockdown in case COVID-19 does come to the community.
It’s been urging residents to stock up on food and medications to last four weeks (plus repeat prescriptions), warm clothing and heaters or wood, and to wipe down surfaces with disinfectant regularly.
Aunty Christine also reminded residents to continue practising safe-distancing.
“We need to keep our families to ourselves. Don’t open the door for anybody, no matter who they are,” she said.
Cherbourg’s travel restrictions were relaxed on May 2 but are still tighter than any other community in the South Burnett.
On Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, residents are allowed to leave the community for two hours to do shopping (between 7:00am and 7:00pm). Only two people are allowed in the vehicle (no children).
On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, residents can leave for up to four hours to travel to Kingaroy (between 8:00am and 8:00pm). Only four people are allowed in the vehicle (including children). Only one person who does not live in the same house is allowed.
“It is always important to remember that when outside of community you maintain social distancing and wash your hands often. We don’t want to bring the virus into our community,” Mayor Elvie Sandow and CEO Chatur Zala warned in a statement.
“Remember, these restrictions are to limit any possible exposure to the virus. In this case, we have to stay apart to work together.
“We are doing this for all of the community, especially the Elders and the very young people. If we stick to the rules, Cherbourg can continue to be an example to the rest of Queensland.”
Mayor Elvie Sandow and Community Services Manager Edwina Stewart put on a special treat for Queensland Health workers on Wednesday.
The pair put their baking skills to the test and served up a special morning tea at Cherbourg Community Health for employees, including people manning the checkpoint.
“I decided to take my Council up there and have morning tea with the health workers,” Mayor Sandow said.
“It was just recognising what they do … giving them good feedback about what they’re doing out on the ground in our community.
“The staff thought they were in trouble, but it was just to show them our appreciation.”
For the record, the workers enjoyed a vanilla cake, a chocolate cake and two caramel tarts!