More than 1,110 Tasmanians have self-reported their positive COVID-19 status, leading to a spike in the state’s cases.
Tasmania reported 2,223 new cases on Saturday – 800 higher than Friday’s figure and nearly triple from Thursday.
Some 1051 came from laboratory PCR tests, while 1172 came from self-reported rapid antigen tests (RATs).
“We thank Tasmanians for registering their RAT positive result on the public health website to help us detect and support cases,” Prime Minister Peter Gutwein said in a statement.
At 8 p.m. Friday, the state had 6,509 active cases, four of which were in the hospital.
Another six people with COVID-19 are in hospital for other reasons.
With cases mounting rapidly, Mr Gutwein tried to reassure the public that the rise is not unexpected or beyond the capabilities of a highly vaccinated population and “well-prepared health system.”
About 9,000 RATs were distributed by the state government on Friday to symptomatic people and close contacts of positive cases.
More tests are available at the Derwent Entertainment Centre, the Rokeby Police Academy, Launceston’s Silverdome and the Ulverstone Sports Centre.
“These collection points are not for people who have no symptoms of COVID-19 and who have not been considered close contact with a positive case,” Mr Gutwein said.
“So please don’t show up unless you are symptomatic or in close contact.”
Tasmania has increased its order for RATs to five million.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced this week that people who get a positive RAT result will no longer have to have their infection confirmed with a PCR test.
Tasmania’s test clinics have been unable to meet rising demand, with health authorities admitting that the number of active cases is likely well behind the recorded figure.
Australian Associated Press