24/08/2020

SA's COVID-19 Control Centre will be expanded with additional staff to secure the state’s ongoing, coordinated whole-of-government pandemic response.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said a larger State Control Centre - Health (SCC-H) would ensure South Australia was better equipped to continue to tackle the long-term challenge posed by COVID-19.

“South Australians have done a magnificent job in coming together to help stop the spread of COVID-19 to this point, but we are determined to plan for every scenario. We cannot know whether we are through the worst of the pandemic. Now is the time to continue to prepare to avoid the worst.

“We are in this for the long haul, and want to ensure we have a sustainable workforce equipped with the tools they need to fight COVID-19 on all fronts.

“In coming weeks, the SCC-H will be moving to a bigger location and up to an additional 40 staff will join to provide stronger support for the South Australian response.

“We know COVID-19 is not going to disappear anytime soon and while it may seem we are in the recovery phase, we need to be prepared for any number of scenarios by responding quickly to new cases, working to keep the community safe and ultimately, rebuilding our economy.”

Minister Wade said an Expression of Interest would circulate throughout he public sector this week to fill the new roles.

“We know South Australians are still concerned about COVID-19, and we will not just stand by and hope we don’t get hit by a second wave,” he said.

“By recruiting an additional 40 staff to work in the SCC-H, we will secure a more sustainable workforce model for the next 12 to 24 months who will be an integral part of the state’s COVID-19 response.

“It’s vital the resources come from across the public sector to support the continued unified response and the sharing of knowledge in a timely manner across all arms of government.”

State Control Centre Health Commander Paul McGowen said as part of the expansion, the SCC-H will be relocated into a larger, dedicated area within SA Health headquarters next month.

“The SCC-H has been the central hub of the latest information, data, and planning since its establishment in March,” Mr McGowen said.

“The extra 40 staff will undertake five key functional areas of operations, planning, logistics, intelligence and exemptions.

“In order to safeguard the ongoing response, our new fully self-contained space will be set up in a more structured way with more secure access arrangements, improved infection control measures and greater flexibility for the larger workforce.

“We will continue to drive the state’s strong COVID-19 response to ensure the health and safety of all South Australians.”

The Expression of Interest will be open to staff from both SA Health and throughout government and will seek people from various levels with experience working in an operation centre.