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Tasmanian News

Gov hints at forced testing

Coronavirus Breaking News2

Tasmania will bring in voluntary coronavirus testing for those being held in the state's nine quarantine hotels as of Wednesday. 

Premier Peter Gutwein says while testing's already available for around 700 people being detained, it'll now be "strongly recommended" at least twice, particularly for arrivals from Victoria.

"On day five and day 12, we'll be strongly recommending that people get tested," Mr Gutwein told a coronavirus press briefing on Tuesday morning.

"If people present as a high risk, then other powers under the Public Health Act will be utilised to ensure that testing does occur." 

It follows the state's first coronavirus diagnosis in more than two months, health authorities still tight-lipped on the young woman's age, how she was diagnosed and which hotel she was being held in. 

She's now in a stable condition in the Royal Hobart Hospital. 

In contrast with Victoria's disastrous hotel quarantine failures, Tasmania's Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Scott McKeown, is confident the state's system has held firm. 

"They do not pose, at this stage, a risk to public health," said Dr McKeown of the unnamed patient. 

"No community close contacts have been identified so far through the cotact tracing process; quarantine protocols at the hotel are being reviewed, and at this point there is no evidence of any breaches of hotel quarantine. 

"At this stage the risk of spread to guests, staff or the wider community is low, but as a precuation, today guests within the hotel will be contacted and checked for symptoms and offered testing, and staff will also be offered testing. 

"This is a precautionary approach."

 

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