Cases close non-COVID hospital wards Tas

Tasmania’s non-COVID hospital wards have been forced to close more than three positive patients, as restrictions continue to ease in other parts of Australia.

Two cases have been detected on a non-COVID ward at Hobart Repatriation Hospital and another on a non-COVID ward at Royal Hobart Hospital, the Tasmania Department of Health confirmed on Friday.

Positive patients were transferred to a designated COVID-19 ward at RHH, with all nearby patients being tested.

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Affected wards are closed to admissions and non-COVID visitors until further notice, except for humanitarian reasons when contact tracing begins.

“Members of the public should be reassured that it is safe to travel to RHH and the repatriation hospital as needed,” said acting state health commander Dale Webster.

“Although the incident affected one department in each facility, all other areas of the hospital continue to operate.”

More than 42,000 new cases of COVID-19 and 26 deaths were reported across Australia on Friday as Western Australia entered a new phase of managing the pandemic.

The state removed quarantine for asymptomatic close contacts in accordance with national guidelines, removed all remaining gathering limits, removed G2G travel passes, and removed vaccine requirements for interstate travelers.

But workplace vaccination mandates remain in place, meaning unvaccinated people are still banned from working in most industries.

South Australia is also preparing to scrap COVID-19 close contact isolation rules, aligning its restrictions with NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT.

From Saturday, anyone considered a close contact will no longer need to self-isolate at home, although they will have to take five rapid antigen tests over the seven-day period.

They will also be required to wear masks when outside the home, they will be prohibited from visiting high-risk environments such as aged care centers and they will have to inform their employers and all schools with whom they are in contact about their status.

Close contacts will be asked to avoid non-essential gatherings or contact with vulnerable people, and will be required to take a PCR test if they develop symptoms and self-isolate until the result is received.

Meanwhile, a Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry has heard that state shutdowns have led to increased presentations of mental health services in every state and territory.

LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA:

NSW: 11,903 cases, seven deaths, 1,645 in hospital, 68 in intensive care

Victoria: 11,083 cases, seven deaths, 428 in hospital, 35 in intensive care

WA: 8,117 cases, two historic deaths, 233 in hospital, four in intensive care

Queensland: 4,477 cases, six deaths, 492 in hospital, 11 in intensive care

AS: 3,924 cases, three deaths, 222 in hospital, 11 in intensive care

Tasmania: 1,090 cases, one death, 37 in hospital, three in intensive care

ACT: 1,072 cases, no deaths, 65 in hospital, three in intensive care

NT: 428 cases, no deaths, 47 in hospital, two in intensive care

Lillian L. Pena