While Ararat businesses are continuing to see an economic recovery following the COVID-19 shutdown, two local leaders are warning the bubble may burst.
East Grampians Health Service (EGHS) chief executive Andrew Freeman and Ararat Rural City Council (ARCC) mayor Jo Armstrong said the increase in positive coronavirus cases in Victoria are concerning.
"I don't think people would be surprised if more restrictions are put in place," he said.
"I was concerned about the high number of people visiting our tourist hotspots when the restrictions were first lifted.
"But from what I observed, businesses are doing the right thing.
"We have no control over visitors; hopefully, people who live in the COVID-19 hotspots aren't coming to our region.
"I can only encourage the community to make sensible decisions; don't go out into the public if you feel unwell.
"The good thing is rural communities are doing the right thing."
Mr Freeman said EGHS receives advice from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) daily, which helps formulate safe practices across the organisation.
"EGHS will continue to monitor the news and adhere to any restrictions that may be imposed by DHHS.
"We regularly screen staff, patients and visitors as they come into our hospital.
"If a patient is showing symptoms, we will place them in isolation until the results come in.
EDITORIAL: How you can help to sustain local news
"We have restricted hours for aged and acute care.
"It's about being diligent and vigilant."
Mr Freeman added coronavirus testing rates have steadily increased since the state government lifted restrictions in June.
Cr Armstrong said the council would continue to respond to COVID-19 "in accordance to the needs of the community."
"We haven't received any phone calls from the Victorian Government," Cr Armstrong said.
"However, considering the speed in which the state government has to act on all of the new information, it is a 'watch this space' situation.
"DHHS' contact with ARCC is largely on an operation basis, which means the CEO oversees these matters more than councillors."
The chief executive, Dr Tim Harrison, was contacted for comment for this story.
Cr Armstrong said ARCC was one of the first councils in Victoria to react to the coronavirus.
"Ararat Rural City Council have a proactive plan in place," she said.
"We set-up an emergency relief centre for community members to get all of the information they need about the pandemic."
The Ararat Community Relief Centre is a virtual hub set-up to help vulnerable community members access food, medical supplies and other essentials.
The Centre is open from Monday to Friday during business hours and can be contacted on 5355 0980.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday morning from The Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Ararat shire, sign up here.