I know how worried many of you are about the situation with the Novel Coronavirus known as COVID-19.
As you will have heard, this virus poses particular risks to older Queenslanders, but I want you to know that Queensland is well prepared, and we are working hard every single day to reduce the risk to you and every other Queenslander.
It will take some time, but we will get through this by working together, by supporting each other, by keeping calm heads, and by listening to accurate advice.
It is important to note that you are extremely unlikely to contract COVID-19 if you haven’t been overseas or been in close contact with a confirmed case.
There is also a lot we can do to protect ourselves and each other.
Please wash your hands thoroughly, try and avoid touching your face, nose and mouth, and avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing. If you can, keep your distance from anyone who is unwell.
We are doing everything in our power to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including limiting the number of visitors in facilities like aged care homes where at-risk people live in groups.
I, like a lot of other people, have a grandmother in an aged-care facility and we need to do whatever we can to protect our most vulnerable.
If you’re worried you might have Coronavirus, please call your GP or 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84).
You can also get up-to-date advice at www.health.qld.gov.au/coronavirus
Older Queenslanders have been through tough times before and you know that no difficult situation is helped by panic – that’s why we’re asking people to buy only sensible amounts of food and household goods, be kind to each other and check-in with friends or family who might need extra support.
This is a time in our lives that I hope we never see again, but we need to be prepared that this virus could well be our toughest test.
If we can do everything in our power now to focus on protecting our elderly, we will go a long way to mitigate the spread of this virus.
Your generation built this State and if you need help, we will be there for you.
I know we will come together and emerge better and stronger than ever.
Because we always do.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk