Tasmania records 2,223 new COVID cases, state’s highest daily figure

Tasmania has registered 2,223 new cases of COVID, bringing the total of active cases in the state to 6,509.

Ten people are in hospital, but only four are being treated for COVID symptoms.

In the past 24 hours, 391 people have been taken out of isolation.

On Friday, the state’s daily cases doubled from the previous day to 1,489, with health authorities saying 1 in 30 people over 20 had contracted the virus.

Prime Minister Peter Gutwein said the virus was spreading “mainly among a younger, more mobile population” and called on people to be “wise”.

“Make sure you wear your mask, practice good hand hygiene, do the right thing,” he said Friday.

“We’re going to see a significant increase in business as we move forward, and people need to make sure they’re ready for that.”

Like the rest of the country, Tasmania struggles with long queues for PCR tests and a lack of rapid antigen testing in stores.

The state government announced on Thursday that rapid antigen testing may now be used as a diagnostic tool for COVID-19 in Tasmania.

A nurse stands in PPE in a hospital corridor.
The outbreak is putting pressure on state hospitals.(ABC News: Jeremy Story Carter)

Anyone with a COVID positive rapid antigen test can log their result online without having to book a PCR test to confirm the case.

The Omicron outbreak has impacted hospitals across the state.

The Royal Hobart Hospital has moved to escalation level three after at least 100 staff tested positive for COVID, with outpatient services being reduced.

Last night, the number of Launceston General Hospital employees who had COVID or were considered close contacts was revised to 100.

Travelers have also been urged not to visit King Island, off Tasmania’s northwest coast, after dozens of people tested positive on the remote island.

Public Health said yesterday it expected more positive tests from the island’s 1,600 residents.

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