Lives have been saved here
GRAMPIANS Public Health Unit’s senior epidemiologist and analyst Julia Hofkes said the Grampians region’s low overall COVID-19 numbers have benefited the community more than many know.
Ms Hofkes has been analysing Grampians-wide data in comparison to state averages that have been adjusted to reflect our population and said the impacts of low case numbers locally, and in Victoria relative to the rest of the world, go beyond just physical health.
“We know that an epidemic, outbreak or pandemic has impacts on a population far more broadly and beyond the infection rate or case numbers we hear about,” Ms Hofkes said.
“Even just having to worry about COVID cases causes such a massive strain on our mental health, and while COVID and its impacts has been devastating for some and a worry for many, Victorians haven’t had to deal with the far higher case rates and deaths as people in many other parts of the world have had to do.
“Members of our community haven’t had the concern of whether there will be a hospital bed for you, which is such a huge benefit to people’s mental health, and which we know has been very different in other countries.
“We know there’s some seasonality to COVID and in Victoria we were expecting a bit of a wave during autumn, so what we need the community to do is keep up with testing and vaccination, and taking their COVID precautions seriously like they have been since the beginning.”
While the Community Vaccination Clinic at The Mercure has now closed, vaccinations are available at Grampians Public Health Unit’s Clinic at 18 Drummond Street, or from various GPs and pharmacies across Ballarat.
For more information, visit bhs.org.au/vaccine.