Rise in virus cases at major Tas hospital

Tasmania's major hospital has tightened its coronavirus management processes after a rise in cases among patients and staff.

The Royal Hobart Hospital escalated to level two, the third highest level of its COVID-19 management plan, on Wednesday.

State Health Commander Kathrine Morgan-Wicks said it was due to the amount of COVID-positive inpatients, an increasing level of virus-related staff absences, and the impact of a fresh outbreak on a ward.

"We are also seeing an increasing number of visitors entering the health facility with symptoms," she said in a statement.

"If people have symptoms of COVID-19 they should get tested and avoid visiting high-risk settings, such as hospitals."

Virus cases in Tasmania have been on the rise since late October, with 2224 new infections reported for the week of November 18.

Under the new level of care staff are required to wear N95/P2 masks and eyewear in all clinical and patient-facing settings.

Visiting hours will remain between 2-7pm, with all visitors required to complete a health screening process before entering.

Ms Morgan-Wicks said the escalation is a well-established process that has proven effective in managing periods of heightened demand.

She said people should reconsider attending the hospital's emergency department if they are not in an emergency situation.

"Hospital staff are working hard to address the demand for hospital care," she said.

"The public can have confidence that the needs of emergency presentations will be met."