COVID-19 sidelines Tas hospital workers

·1-min read

Tasmanian hospitals are feeling the strain of COVID-19 with hundreds of staff members off work due to the virus.

There are 383 Tasmanian Health Service staff absent due to COVID-19 on Thursday, with the vast majority employed in the state's hospitals, Tasmania's health commander Kathrine Morgan-Wicks confirmed.

She warned Tasmania's latest COVID-19 wave is yet to peak, with another 1694 infections and two deaths reported on Thursday.

"We need to carefully work through that and make sure people are really respecting those COVID-safe behaviours, particularly over the next three to four weeks," Ms Morgan-Wicks told reporters.

Elective surgery was continuing in the state despite the rise in COVID-19 cases, the health commander said.

All hospital wards remained open with services ensuring there are enough nurses and doctors to care for sick patients.

"We're making arrangements by moving staff around the hospitals," Ms Morgan-Wicks said. "We will also close beds if it is unsafe to staff them.

"We know the strain that people are under, that every single hospital in Australia is currently under."

The health commander encouraged Tasmanian residents to wear a mask where possible and to only attend the emergency department for life-threatening emergencies.

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