There is no vaccine for COVID-19 and ultimately governments and health services are counting on people in the community to pay attention to public health messages about hygiene and physical distancing to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus. People in Latrobe are worried about this and want to do the right thing. It is confronting for them when others within their community or elsewhere behave in ways that seem to disregard the public health advice.
Some people are taking physical distancing and hygiene measures seriously and others are not. Some people in Latrobe are not hearing, understanding or responding to COVID-19 messages. They are not changing their behaviours. This is leading to tensions within workplaces and between friends. People are fearful about going out into the street and returning to work and want reassurance that government measures will be adhered to.
Services want to protect the wellbeing of their staff and have concerns about PPE supplies. They know the COVID-19 response will require a sustained effort and that good communication is a priority.
Industrial workplaces still in operation are seeing apathy leading to a lack of behaviour change and stigma about potential COVID-19 symptoms and positive test results.
Alongside the COVID-19 response, communities prepared for the felling of the Hazelwood Power Station Chimneys in April. Concerns were expressed about people in the community who may not have been aware of the event or the potential health risks of asbestos. Local groups sought reassurance that weather conditions were being monitored and measures had been taken to ensure the health of communities was not compromised.