Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

PRESS CONFERENCE - 14 JULY 2020

Minister for Health, Sarah Courtney

Good morning.

I’d like today to start by extending my thoughts to the family that have been impacted by carbon monoxide poisoning overnight.

We know that 11 people have been taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital. Two adults and five children are currently in a serious conditions.

So, the health professionals at the hospital are obviously caring for them, and the Department of Communities is also working with the family to provide appropriate support in this difficult time for them.

Keeping Tasmanians safe and secure is our number one priority as we fight coronavirus.

We’re up to Day 59, Day 59, here in Tasmania without a positive case and our testing results remain strong, with 496 presentations to our clinic yesterday, and we have seen more than 57,000 test done here in Tasmania.

While the situation in Victoria remains of concern, we are carefully monitoring this and the impact it’s having on other states.

We’re also ensuring that we continue to be prepared here in Tasmania for if and when we d get another case.

As we have maintained, it has been imperative to have in place our safeguards.

This includes rapid response, high testing rates, distancing measures and hygiene practices.

And to all the Tasmanians that have worked so hard, I’d like to say Thank You.

I also know that fro thousands of Tasmanians, including myself, who have been tested that it actually can be quite an uncomfortable process at times, so I’m pleased to let Tasmanians know that we are currently rolling out and implementing new FINNIS? swabs across our testing sites in Tasmania.

This is particularly reassuring for parents, because I know that it can be distressing for kids, so having a swab that is less uncomfortable should hopefully remove any barriers or concerns to people in the community.

So, really, there should be no excuse now for getting tested, if you have symptoms.

This is currently being progressively rolled out across our sites and, again, I remind Tasmanians it is important that we remain vigilant.

Even if you have the slightest symptoms, even if you’ve already had a coronavirus test a few months ago, it’s imperative that we still remain vigilant.

We’re seeing in other jurisdictions how quickly coronavirus can spread, and it’s important that we continue to remain aware of our own symptoms.

In terms of compliance within the community, I’ll ask Commissioner Hine to speak more on this in a moment, but I would like to use this opportunity to remind Tasmanians that this is not over yet.

And while the vast majority of Tasmanians are doing the right thing, and we’ve had extremely high levels of compliance to date, there are some that still are not following the rules.

And I cannot stress how important it is that every single Tasmanian ensures that they are complying.

The distancing rules are in place, coupled with hygiene practices, to protect us.

There is strong Public Health advice that these remain pivotal in our defence against further potential spreads of coronavirus.

We don’t need to look very far across our borders to see the devastating impact that coronavirus can have on a community, as well as businesses that are being impacted by second waves.

We’re going to continue working closely with Public Health to ensure that our decisions are guided by the best advice.

So, please, a reminder to all Tasmanians, be vigilant for symptoms, please comply.

It is everybody’s responsibility.

This is a fight that we’re all in together.

We’ve been successful so far, because we’ve worked well as a team, and I thank Tasmanians for the efforts that they’ve gone to, because it has made a substantial difference.

I’d now like to ask Commissioner Hine to make some comments, and then Dr Veitch will also be available for questions.

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