Shutdown hits the Valley

THE Derwent Valley has experienced a Covid-19 scare, with Maydena, Strathgordon and New Norfolk impacted.

Public Health issued the alert at the weekend after tracing the movements of a Launceston General Hospital health worker who travelled around Tasmania between June 23 and July 2 before flying to London where he tested positive for Covid.

Included in the extensive list of places visited throughout the state are the Maydena café Fika Time, the Pedder Wilderness Lodge at Strathgordon and the United Petrol station in Burnett Street New Norfolk.

The healthcare worker tested negative when he left Tasmania, via Melbourne and Singapore, but after arriving in London on July 4, tested positive.

Premier Peter Gutwein said while there was no evidence that this person contracted Covid-19 while he was in Tas-mania, or was infectious while in Tasmania.

“Public Health Services is taking a precautionary approach to ensure there is no risk to the Tasmanian community.’’

As a result the Maydena café has had to shut and the owner self isolate. After a negative test, the café was able to reopen on Monday. The United employee has self-isolated and anyone who visited Pedder Wilderness Lodge at the time the health worker was there must do so as well.

The key dates are at Pedder Wilderness Lodge, Saturday June 26 to 28, Fika Cafe be-tween 11am and 11.15 am on June 26 and between 9.30am and 10am at United on June 26.

Anyone who has visited these locations during these times must isolate immediately, call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange a Covid-19 test, and continue to isolate until they have received a negative result.

Mr Gutwein, his deputy Jeremy Rockliff and Small Business Minister Jane Howlett have have personally tele-phoned many of the businesses impacted.

“The Tasmanian Government will work with the Tasmanian businesses listed as exposure sites regarding any associated financial impact,’’ Mr Gutwein said.“

Public Health is taking a very proactive and cautious approach after a former LGH worker tested positive to Covid-19 in the UK, after testing negative in Tasmania.

“The Government will be working with these businesses to ensure they are supported, and the Minister for Small Business will be making contact with impacted businesses to work through any necessary support options with them.“

Importantly, immediate assistance is available to employees through the Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants.

“A one-off payment of $250 will be available to employees who lose wages due to Public Health requiring them to self-isolate, particularly casual employees without leave entitlements.“

To apply, please call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

’’The potential exposure list with details of locations and times are available at
http://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/exposure-sites.

National Cabinet met again on Friday and agreed to continue efforts to strongly encourage residential disability support workers to have their vaccination as soon as possible.“

The uptake in the sector will be reviewed again in Au-gust before a decision is made about making the vaccine mandatory,’’ Mr Gutwein said.

“Tasmanians are continuing to roll up their sleeves with the highest vaccination coverage of first doses in the country.’’

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