Case numbers of Tasmania coronavirus are increasing by four

Case numbers of Tasmania coronavirus are increasing by four

Four more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed as the state braces for a possible outbreak of aged care in north-west Tasmania.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state is now 188, after four people in the last 24 hours tested positive.
They are aged between the 30s and 70s and three of them are healthcare workers who have either served at the North West Regional Hospital or at the North West Private Hospital.

The fourth man is an intimate contact with a confirmed case.

As tests for 500 residents and employees at three nursing homes are being conducted throughout the night.

Those at East Devonport's Melaleuca Nursing Home, Ulverstone's Eliza Purton Home and Penguin's Coroneagh Park were tested on Friday after a health worker who had made changes in all three facilities tested the virus positively.

Premier Peter Gutwein said yesterday that he would "wait with baited breath" for an outbreak in the homes and that the families of those being tested would be.

Tests are undergoing overnight analysis and the tests are expected to be made public today.

In the coming weeks Tasmania will triple its COVID-19 test capability.

The island state has entered into a collaboration with Sonic Healthcare, a Commonwealth and Pathology company, to boost testing capacity.

"If in doubt, test," a joint statement said.
A 74-year-old man died yesterday from coronavirus, taking the COVID-19 death toll to eight in the state.

After conducting a thorough cleaning of the entire hospital over a number of days, the Australian Defence force reopened the emergency department of the North West Regional Hospital yesterday.

Medics flown in from other states earlier this week will now operate the emergency department at the hospital, while local staff complete two weeks of isolation due to the epidemic that was mandated last weekend.

Lamenting the latest coronavirus death in his state yesterday, the Premier said, "we are taking every measure that we can".

He implored Tasmanian people to "stay home and save lives".