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Tasmania’s total Covid-19 case count hits 300

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63 cases are being managed at a community care facility, an increase of three from figures released on Tuesday.158 people are managing their condition via the COVID@home program.One person with Covid remains in hospital due to what the health department has said is an alternative medical condition. The Hanging Garden is among the list of exposure sites for a close contact, with the exposure period between 2:28pm and 6:30pm on the 22nd of December.Party in the Apocalypse at Launceston’s Inveresk Park was listed as a low risk exposure site between 5:30pm and 10:30pm on Monday.The full list of exposure sites can be found on the coronavirus.tas website.Covid exposure site list grows as more cases detected – December 28PUBLIC Covid-19 alerts are now out for 260 exposure sites across Tasmania, as the state’s tally of active cases rises again.There were 43 new cases recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, bringing the state’s total number of active cases to 243.All except 61 of the current cases are being managed under the Covid@home protocol.One person remains in hospital with other health complications and 60 are being treated in a community case management facility.There are now more active cases in Tasmania than the state experienced for the entire pandemic, until December 15 when state borders reopened. The exposure sites are listed within specified times, with those who were there given advice to monitor for symptoms, be tested or quarantine depending on circumstances. They range from flights and a Spirit of Tasmania sailing, to cafes and a nail salon, with more than half of Tasmania’s current exposure sites are in the state’s south. Pablo’s Cocktails and Dreams, in Harrington St, Hobart, has been listed as an exposure site on December 22 and also December 23-24. Sisterhood Cafe, in Sandy Bay, has also been listed as a close contact exposure site on December 23, as has Priceline Kingston on December 22-24. Meanwhile, anyone who attended Zap Fitness in Moonah on Christmas Day between 3pm and 5pm are now considered close contacts.Passengers on a range of Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin flights have also been warned of possible exposure.It comes as questions over the government’s ability to cope with the escalating local situation continue.Acting Labor leader Anita Dow said that the government had failed to adequately equip the state’s contact-tracing capability.“Tasmanians needed to know if the Covid public health hotline and the Covid@home program could cope with the climbing number of cases and exposure sites in Tasmania,” she said. Ms Dow said Tasmanians had repeatedly heard claims from Premier Peter Gutwein and Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff that the state was prepared for Covid-19. “But it’s time now to actually provide forensic details of the numbers of staff available to Tasmanians and the capability of the programs the government has established,” Ms Dow said. On Monday, Mr Gutwein said Tasmanians could be given more responsibility in contact tracing to slow the spread of Covid-19.He said national advice was being worked on for whether low-risk or casual exposure sites should be listed.Meanwhile, Public Health Director Mark Veitch said for now, everyone would be contacted by public health, but the priority settings would be conducted first. The state government is considering if rapid antigen tests could be used when visitors arrive in Tasmania.Ms Dow said Tasmanians had repeatedly heard claims from both Premier Peter Gutwein and Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff that the state was prepared for Covid.“But it’s time now to actually provide forensic details of the numbers of staff available to Tasmanians and the capability of the programs the government has established,” she said.“How many people are staffing the public health hotline?“Will it be staffed 24/7 and on public holidays and weekends?“How many health professionals are staffing the Covid@home program? Is immediate help available and, if not, what is the average wait time to get that help?”Meanwhile, all close contacts of a Covid-positive worker at the Royal Hobart Hospital have returned negative tests, the health department says. It comes after it was announced on Thursday the worker had tested positive.Hospitals south acting chief executive Stephen Ayre and chief medical officer Tony Lawler said in a joint statement the close contacts who were required to be tested included patients and staff. “All affected areas have returned to normal patient flow conditions and staff are operating under business-as-usual protocols, with the additional Covid-safe precautions remaining in place,’’ the statement read. An incident management team established to respond to the Covid-19 case has closed the incident and stood down.helen.kempton@news.com.au



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