woman wearing face mask

Warning over Covid surge

THE number of positive Covid cases in Tasmania is on the rise and a new wave is anticipated over the summer period. The increase in cases has prompted the Government to recommend the public wear facemasks. The Public Health Covid rating has been increased from low to moderate.

Premier Jeremy Rockliff said this meant Tasmanians should be aware there was currently a higher risk of contracting Covid in the community and everyone should take extra pre-cautions by staying home and testing if they have any symptoms, and continue to follow Covid-safe behaviours. “While masks are not mandatory, they are recommended in indoor settings, on public transport, or when visiting people at higher risk,’’ Mr Rockliff said.

“I understand that some in the community may be concerned around Covid, but this is not unexpected. “We’ve always said there will be waves, but this is a normal part of living with Covid-19, and we are prepared and acting accordingly. “Of course, the best thing you can do to protect yourself from Covid-19 is to make sure you’re up to date with your vaccinations. “This includes your booster or fourth dose. So, if you’re eligible, head into a GP or pharmacy and ensure you have the maximum protection from Covid-19.’’

But Greens health spokesperson Rosalie Woodruff said since Covid isolation rules were removed, transmission had been widespread. “Covid isolation requirements were the last vestige of protection against widespread transmission,’’ Dr Woodruff said. “Since they were removed, Covid is – predictably – spiking again. “Since isolation rules were removed we’ve been contacted by Tasmanians who are extremely concerned about people being pushed to return to work while infectious. “We’ve heard about a childcare worker in Devonport, Covid positive asymptomatic, who was told to come back to work after 48 hours. “This person works with unvaccinated babies and toddlers.

“We were contacted by an older Metro bus driver, concerned about his and his family’s health, being forced to work with Covid-positive drivers who have been called back to work. “These drivers may not only be infecting their colleagues, they’re also driving buses relied upon by vulnerable people. “Premier Rockliff’s hands-off approach is quite clearly contributing to Tasmania’s massive spike in Covid infections. “It’s his decisions, and lobbying at National Cabinet, that is making Tasmanians less safe.’’

At a moderate level, it is recommended by Public Health that the public wear a face mask in crowded indoor spaces, on public transport, and when visiting people who may be at risk of severe illness. There have been more than 2700 new cases of Covid in the last seven days, 211 of the new case have been in the South.