Virus cases on remote Tasmanian islands

·2-min read

Coronavirus cases have been recorded on remote King and Flinders Islands off Tasmania as the state registers another record daily infection tally.

The state registered 137 new cases on Friday, bringing its number of active infections to 520.

"Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been identified on King and Flinders Islands," acting Public Health Director Julie Graham said.

"Both cases are interstate travellers who received positive test results after arriving. They are both in isolation."

The two islands, which are situated in Bass Strait, have a combined population of about 2500 people.

Public Health is conducting tracing and will notify anyone who has been a close contact.

Dr Graham said it was an important reminder that people should check in at locations and wear a mask indoors as part of public health orders.

Tasmania on Thursday scrapped a requirement for travellers to take a PCR rest in the 72-hour period before they arrive, moving to a rapid antigen test one day before arriving.

The majority of the state's active cases, 200, are being managed at home, while there are 86 people in community management clinics.

Three hospital patients are being treated specifically for COVID-19 symptoms and one positive case is being treated for an unrelated medical condition.

Tasmania's previous daily record was 92 cases recorded on Thursday.

The island state was free of COVID-19 when it reopened to fully vaccinated travellers from mainland hotspots on December 15.

Public Health Director Mark Veitch told reporters on Thursday about half of Tasmania's cases were from community transmission.

The Labor opposition has called on Premier Peter Gutwein to explain the decision to change the definition of a close contact.

"The premier has repeatedly said he will make decisions based on public health advice," acting leader Anita Dow said.

"He should release that information to clear up confusion about why the definition of a close contact has changed.

"The definition of a close contact has consequences not just for our health system but also for our community and economy."

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