Four more coronavirus cases confirmed after Easter police blitz warning


TAS

Tamania’s coronavirus cases tally is now 111 after four new cases were confirmed in the state’s north-west on Thursday night.

Key points:

  • Tasmania’s Premier has warned people not go to their shacks this Easter, saying there will be increased police presence
  • There is an outbreak in the north-west of the state, with cases linked to three different hospitals
  • An outbreak management team has stood down about 60 staff at the North-West Regional Hospital

One of the cases is a close contact of a previously identified case.

Three of the cases are healthcare workers who have worked at the North West Regional Hospital or the North West Private Hospital, or both.

The Outbreak Management Team is already identifying and contacting any person who has had close contact with any of these staff and will ensure necessary actions are taken.

In addition, Public Health Services is also following up household and social contacts of all confirmed cases.

The latest cases were announced after the Tasmanian Government warned there would be “choppers in the sky” this long weekend, ensuring people stay home for Easter.

Premier Peter Gutwein said there would be a statewide police “blitz” and an “effective lockdown” in the north-west, where a COVID-19 outbreak investigation is continuing around the North West Regional Hospital (NWRH) and North West Private Hospital (NWPH)

“To be frank, today the gloves come off,” Mr Gutwein said.

“The period of education is over.

“We still have Tasmanians that are flaunting the rules.

“I have been fair, I have been reasonable and I have taken every step and every precaution that we can to save lives. But we will only save lives if Tasmanians follow the rules.

“Today we’ll be putting helicopters up. There will be eyes in the sky.”

Tasmania has 107 confirmed cases of coronavirus — 23 of which Health Minister Sarah Courtney said were linked to the outbreak in the north-west.

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The Premier described the next five days as “the most critical”.

“It is not good enough to be hearing reports of campers and trailers heading to the east coast. It’s simply not good enough to think that you can blatantly break these rules,” he said.

“People’s lives are being put at risk.”

Tasmania COVID-19 snapshot

  • Confirmed cases: 150
  • Deaths: 5

What do I do if I think I have coronavirus?
If you think you might have COVID-19 because you feel unwell with a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath and have travelled recently or had contact with a confirmed case, phone your GP or the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Need an interpreter?
Phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and tell them your language.

For more information and factsheets:
Visit the Tasmanian Department of Health’s coronavirus page here.

He said they would be paying special attention to the north-west coast and people should not be surprised if they were stopped by police and asked what they were doing.

“Don’t be surprised if you’re at a shack and you get a knock on the door,” he said.

“If you don’t have a reasonable excuse then you will be asked to leave or you will be summonsed and charged.

“Our shack communities, our seaside villages are largely retirement villages. We don’t want you travelling there.”

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Sixty hospital staff stood down following contact tracing

Speaking on the outbreak in the north-west, Ms Courtney said 15 of the confirmed cases are health care workers at either the NWRH, NWPH or both and two are close contacts.

Five are current patients — four received care at both the public and private hospitals, but are now inpatients at the NWRH and one is at the Mersey in Devonport.

There is also one discharged patient.

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Chief medical officer of the NWRH Tony Lawler said the situation in the north-west was one of containment and analysis.

“Through contact tracing and roster review, there are now approximately 60 staff members stood down in the NWRH,” he said.

“Exact numbers are difficult to ascertain given the fact that this crosses across all professional groups, across the Mersey and the NWRH.”

He said the public system would no longer be transferring patients to the NWPH, but said maternity services would not be compromised.


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Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news