MIL-OSI Australia: Positive COVID-19 case in quarantine

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Source: State of Tasmania Government

3 October 2021

Peter Gutwein, Premier

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic our priority has been to keep Tasmanians safe and secure.

With the very serious COVID-19 situation in other parts of Australia, particularly in Victoria and NSW, we know the risk of it reaching Tasmania has been very real. As I have said on many occasions, it has been a matter of when, not if.

Public Health Services was notified yesterday of a positive COVID-19 test result in a 15-year-old Tasmanian resident, who was approved to return to Tasmania from Victoria under quarantine provisions.

At this stage, the teenager has mild symptoms, however, to reduce the risk to household members, he was taken to the Launceston General Hospital last night for assessment. 

Today, he will be moved with a family member to Fountainside in Hobart, which has been in reserve and was stood up overnight as a dedicated quarantine facility for COVID cases.

Health authorities are working with the family to ensure they are receiving appropriate monitoring and care.

The primary contacts of the teenager have all been contacted and required to quarantine for 14 days. These include 10 passengers on board Virgin Flight VA1364, which arrived in Launceston from Melbourne at 11.30am on Friday, October 1.

The majority of those on the flight were already in quarantine due to border entry conditions, and the remainder are now also in quarantine.

A small number of biosecurity and security staff at the Launceston Airport have also been identified as casual contacts, and have been required to quarantine until undertaking a test in the coming days. 

The risk to other people at the airport at the same time as the teen is low. However, out of an abundance of caution, the airport arrivals hall, including baggage pickup, has been declared an exposure site between 11.30am and 12.30pm on Friday, October 1.

Anyone in the arrivals hall between those times should immediately isolate where they are and contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

There is no indication the wider Launceston or Tasmanian community is at risk as a result of the positive case. However, investigations are continuing and we will inform the public if further risks are identified.

The teenager and his family have done everything right in this process, and this case shows that our rigorous border systems are working – both in identifying this case very early and immediately acting to reduce the risk to the community.

This is, of course, a reminder that COVID-19 remains a risk to our state, and our greatest weapon to reduce the risk to all of us is to get vaccinated.

Anyone in Tasmania who has been waiting to get vaccinated, please do not put it off any longer. We will reach a point where we need to live with COVID, and before that time, we want to take every step to protect Tasmanians, protect our health system, and our economy.

MIL OSI News