Cases close non-COVID Tas hospital wards

·2-min read

Non-COVID hospital wards in Tasmania have been forced to close over three positive patients, as restrictions continue to ease in other parts of Australia.

Two cases were detected in a non-COVID ward at the Hobart's Repatriation Hospital and another in a non-COVID ward at Royal Hobart Hospital, Tasmania's health department confirmed on Friday.

The positive patients have been moved to a designated COVID-19 ward at the RHH, with all nearby patients being tested.

The impacted wards are closed to non-COVID admissions and visitors until further notice, except on compassionate grounds, as contact tracing begins.

"Members of the public should be reassured that it is safe to attend the RHH and Repatriation Hospital as required," Acting State Health Commander Dale Webster said.

"While the incident has affected one ward in each facility, all other areas of the hospitals continue to operate."

More than 42,000 new COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths were reported across Australia on Friday, as West Australia moved into a new phase of pandemic management.

The state has scrapped quarantine for asymptomatic close contacts in line with national guidelines, dumped all remaining gathering limits, abolished G2G travel passes and removed vaccine requirements for interstate travellers.

But workplace vaccination mandates remain in place, meaning the unvaccinated are still banned from working in most industries.

South Australia is also preparing to scrap COVID-19 close contact isolation rules, bringing its restrictions into line with NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT.

From Saturday, anyone who is deemed a close contact will no longer need to isolate at home, although they will need to take five rapid antigen tests over the seven-day period.

They will also be required to wear masks when outside the home, are banned from visiting high-risk settings such as aged care centres, and must tell their employers and any schools they have contact with of their status.

Close contacts will be urged to avoid any non-essential gatherings or contact with vulnerable people, and must take a PCR test if they develop symptoms and isolate until receiving the result.

Meanwhile, a Victorian parliamentary inquiry has heard the state's lockdowns led to a spike in mental health service presentations in every state and territory.

LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA:

NSW: 11,903 cases, seven deaths, 1645 in hospital, 68 in ICU

Victoria: 11,083 cases, seven deaths, 428 in hospital, 35 in ICU

WA: 8117 cases, two historical deaths, 233 in hospital, four in ICU

Queensland: 4477 cases, six deaths, 492 in hospital, 11 in ICU

SA: 3924 cases, three deaths, 222 in hospital, 11 in ICU

Tasmania: 1090 cases, one death, 37 in hospital, three in ICU

ACT: 1072 cases, no deaths, 65 in hospital, three in ICU

NT: 428 cases, no deaths, 47 in hospital, two in ICU

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