Unlocked but masked: Push on to lift Covid vaccine rates

MASK wearing outside of the home is compulsory until Friday as a result of a Covid-19 positive scare in Hobart and the northern suburbs.

The snap three-day lockdown of southern Tasmanian, including the Derwent Valley and Central Highlands, lifted on Monday night, but Premier Peter Gutwein said masks had to be worn for the rest of the working week.

This is despite no new positive cases from close and casual contacts of the infected NSW man and record vaccinations. Health authorities are urging anyone not yet vaccinated to roll up their sleeve.

Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff reminded locals that pop up clinics and a vaccination bus service were available.
“The Tasmanian Government’s Covid-19 vaccination bus service will hit the road on Monday, October 18, to bring an accessible vaccination option to Tasmania’s rural and remote communities,’’ Mr Rockliff said.
“The service – run in partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service Tasmania – will cover thousands of kilometres to ensure every eligible Tasmanian has the opportunity to receive the vaccine.
“Two buses will visit 23 different townships across Tasmania’s North, North-East, North-West, West Coast, Southern Midlands and Central Highlands during an initial three-week period.
“Local people aged 12 and above can turn up on the day without an appointment and receive a Pfizer vaccination aboard the bus. “The service will return to each township three weeks later to deliver the second dose.”

A clinic will be held at the New Norfolk District Hospital today, Wednesday and Thursday, October 20-21, from 9am to 4.30pm, and a clinic for the second dose will be available on November 9-10.

The Royal Flying Doctors Service will be at Miena on Tuesday, November 2, from 11 am to 5 pm for vaccinations.

Labor has queried the response to the Covid positive NSW man and how it was possible he was able to depart Melbourne for Hobart and then walk out of hotel quarantine.

Labor treasury spokesperson Shane Broad said Tasmanians who had been forced into lockdown as a result of the breach wanted travel arrangements urgently reviewed and tightened so there were no future breaches.
“We are calling on Mr Gutwein to dispatch Biosecurity Tasmania officers to ports of exit in other states to forensically check Good To Go passes for airline passengers and ensure their credentials are genuine,”

Mr Broad said. Visit http://www.coronavirus.tas. gov.au or call 1800 671 738 to book your vaccination.