As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve daily, Shire of Narrogin president Leigh Ballard has urged the community not to be “dismissive” of the pandemic. The Shire is in contact with the WA Department of Health each day and is providing regular updates on the crisis, including news of event cancellations and venue closures. In line with advice from Australia’s chief medical officer, the Shire has cancelled upcoming major events such as Anzac Day ceremonies and Narrogin Nightfields. “We are taking any steps required from authorities as they come through. We’ve increased the cleaning regime for public toilets and we are doing everything we can to reduce spread of the virus,” Mr Ballard said. “Every venue the Shire owns, we are strictly adhering to no functions more than 100 people and one person per four square metres.” A Statewide ban on all Anzac services was announced last week after the Government banned mass gatherings of more than 500 people. Narrogin RSL sub-branch president Ries Chattillon said the cancellation of the Narrogin Anzac Day ceremony was sad, but it was the right decision. “Our service was all set to go, the disappointing part about the whole thing is we had a new updated roll-of-honour plaque that was going to be unveiled by O’Connor MP Rick Wilson,” he said. “I will be asking the council to fix it to the memorial so it will be there for Anzac Day but it won’t be unveiled with a ceremony.” Mr Chattillon said if people wished to commemorate they should do so individually. “If the public wish to pay tribute then by all means do so, but don’t have a gathering. If families want to lay a wreath at the memorial please do so,” he said. “We don’t want to say forget all about the fallen. Families or individuals should commemorate separately and pay their respects.” The 75-year-old war veteran said the precautions were necessary. “No one saw it coming and we have to take precautions because there’s not many old veterans left. We’re all getting old and their health is important,” Mr Chattillon said. “I certainly think all RSL members would agree with the decision. The decision to ban all services was made last week and since then things have worsened, so it was the right decision.” Mr Ballard’s most important advice was to adhere to announcements from the Health Department and governments. “Don’t be dismissive of this pandemic,” he said. “It’s a real thing and it will get out to the regions. Make sure personal hygiene is up to scratch, make sure you’re keeping yourself isolated from groups.” The COVID-19 has forced the cancellation or postponement of events across the Wheatbelt. The Narrogin Speedway Wingless Sprints Country Round, the Boddington Astronomy Night and Quindanning Picnic Races have been cancelled. The Harmony Week Yarnbombing Parade in Pingelly and the Williams Gateway Expo are two of the many events postponed until further notice.