Tasmania reaches 300 active COVID cases after setting new daily record of 55 cases

A nursing home has closed after a worker tested positive as Tasmania records a daily record of 55 new COVID-19 cases.

In a statement, health officials said “improved infection prevention and control measures” are being implemented at St Ann’s elderly care facility in Hobart, where the person worked on a shift Christmas day.

Tasmania’s Director of Public Health, Dr. Mark Veitch, said residents and workers were tested “as a priority”.

“The employee was tested for COVID-19 on December 27. A positive result was received the following day, when public health services and the Ministry of Health’s emergency center for elderly care worked on the facility when the result was known,” said Dr. Veitch.

“The operator of the facility has stated that staff are wearing masks under their guards.”

Anyone who was at St Ann’s geriatric care facility between 7.00 and 14.00 Christmas day, should monitor themselves for symptoms and be tested immediately if anyone develops, no matter how mild they may be.

Today’s 55 cases bring the total number of active cases in the state to 300, with 100 cases registered within the last three days.

The latest figures show that 158 ​​cases receive medical treatment at home, 63 are in media hotels and one person remains in hospital and receives treatment for an unrelated medical condition.

There are no people being treated in the intensive care unit.

The Ministry of Health said 97.61 percent of people aged 16 and over had received their first COVID vaccine dose, and 92.77 percent had received two doses.

A number of gyms, restaurants and clubs throughout the state have also been added as venues.

Resort, fitness centers, dental surgery added to the list of exposure sites

Health authorities also listed several other close contact exposure sites, including the Saffire Freycinet on the East Coast.

Anyone who was in the lounge between 6 p.m. 13.30-14.00 Christmas day or in the restaurant between kl. 14.30-15.30, should immediately take a COVID-19 test and isolate themselves for at least seven days from exposure.

Six gyms across Hobart, Kingston, Moonah, Devonport, Glenorchy and Launceston have also been declared close contact points.

A dental surgery in Launceston, The Hanging Garden in Hobart and Buckingham Rowing Club in New Town were also listed on specific dates and times.

Launceston’s Party in the Apocalypse music festival, which saw nearly 10,000 people pass through the gates during the two-day event, has been listed as a low-risk venue.

The music festival was the first to allow dancing since the pandemic began, and patrons had to be masked and have two doses of a vaccine.

People at the festival are encouraged to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days and be tested if any develop.

Tasmania a holdout for testing before the trip

Tasmania and the Northern Territory are now the only two open jurisdictions that still require travelers from hotspot areas to return a negative PCR test prior to arrival.

Queensland announced today that it would lift its requirement for pre-arrival PCR testing, with rapid antigen testing accepted instead from 1 January.

It follows the same decision from South Australia.

New South Wales and Victoria have put pressure on states that still require PCR testing before travel, with the requirement putting pressure on their already congested test systems.

Both states recorded record daily case numbers today – 11,201 in New South Wales and 3,767 in Victoria.

Epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws said pre-travel PCR tests are not effective, with rapid antigen tests a better option.

“Anything can happen within 72 hours,” she said.

“Omicron is something you can catch after getting your PCR test very easily.”

Professor McLaws said authorities have “failed” to plan the increase in cases.

“Christmas always takes place at the same time every year,” she said.

Tasmania’s Prime Minister Peter Gutwein said in a statement that he would provide an update on the use of rapid antigen testing after the National Cabinet tomorrow.

A list of exposure sites is regularly updated on the Tasmanian Government website.

Information on travel to Tasmania can be found on the Ministry of Health website.

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