Disease management is inherently a geographic issue. Cultural, lifestyle, social and environmental factors – such as occupation, population density and age – influence patterns of disease incidence and prevalence.

In the wake of COVID-19, a spatial perspective is more important than ever in managing outbreaks, performing contact-tracing and enabling a robust community response to stop the spread.

As the primary health agency in Australia, The Department of Health has paved the way for other organisations by employing a best practice approach to the pandemic with the launch of its COVID-19 Resources Hub.

The COVID-19 Resources Hub includes authoritative information on Commonwealth respiratory clinics and national COVID-19 assessment centres. Also included are the locations of Australian Aged Care Services, Australian Public and Private Hospitals, pathologies, respiratory medicine specialists and GPs.

The Hub improves access to geospatial assets by enabling COVID-19 response activities at a national level and amplifying critical data – such as the location of testing sites – at the local level.

If your health agency has access to GIS technology, you can tap into these authoritative datasets to quickly stand-up maps and apps to inform decision-makers, identify vulnerable populations, optimise resource allocation and share vital health information with the public.

The upcoming bushfire season may compound the difficulty in curbing the spread of the pandemic. Resources such as the Hub will be critical in informing the community response. Visit the Department of Health COVID-19 Hub.

Keen to see other great examples of spatial hubs? Check out the UN's Open Sustainable Development Goals data hub and the US Census COVID-19 Impact Report.

To see how GIS technology can support your COVID-19 response efforts, book a meeting to learn how to take advantage of the platform.

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