Close contacts of Tas virus case negative

·2-min read

All close contacts of a coronavirus-infected teenager who broke quarantine in northern Tasmania have returned initial negative tests.

The 15-year-old boy, the state's second case this year, tested positive on Saturday after flying to Launceston from Melbourne the day prior.

He flouted his home quarantine obligations to briefly visit an IGA supermarket on Saturday afternoon.

Seventeen close contacts of the boy, who has the more contagious Delta strain, have tested negative, Acting Premier Jeremy Rockliff said on Wednesday afternoon.

"However, we are not out of the woods yet and this is no time for complacency," he said.

"The close contacts will remain in quarantine for at least 14 days, and will be subject to further testing in the coming days."

Thirty-five people identified as casual contacts are also in quarantine and will be required to be tested on Wednesday and Thursday, Mr Rockliff said.

State Public Health Director Mark Veitch said on Tuesday there is a high likelihood of further cases, particularly in the boy's close family network.

He is staying in a Hobart medi-hotel with his dad.

The state government is ramping up testing and vaccination efforts in Launceston, where 78.4 per cent of people aged over 16 have had their first dose.

Statewide, 78.5 per cent of Tasmanians over 16 have had a first dose and 62.1 per cent are fully vaccinated.

"It remains vitally important that anyone with even the mildest symptoms gets tested, particularly in the northern suburbs of Launceston," Mr Rockliff said.

Authorities will consider whether the boy should face criminal charges or receive a fine for the quarantine breach.

The IGA in the Launceston suburb of Newnham has been declared an exposure site from 2.20pm to 2.45pm on Saturday.

Tasmania's other case this year came in August, when a NSW traveller returned a positive test while in hotel quarantine.

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