Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

5 October 2021

Jeremy Rockliff, Acting Premier

Increased testing capacity in Launceston

Health authorities are monitoring the community for any signs of COVID, after a teenager left home quarantine on Saturday and visited the IGA Xpress in Newnham before learning he had coronavirus.

The positive case has now been confirmed as the Delta strain.

It is now vitally important that anyone with even the mildest symptoms goes and gets tested. On Saturday, 510 COVID tests were conducted, 499 were done on Sunday and 740 on Monday.

Testing hours at the Wellington Street Clinic in Launceston have been extended from 8.30am to 5pm and the clinic has additional capacity. 

Tests can be booked online at or by calling the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

So far, 17 primary close contacts and 35 casual contacts have been identified, with all 17 close contacts in quarantine.

Of the 17 close contacts, nine have returned negative test results and the remaining results will be received in coming days.

An additional 12 wastewater testing sites have also been added for Launceston and surrounds, and we will be testing these extra sites for the next two weeks.

I’d like to reassure the community there are no ongoing risks at the IGA in Newnham where the teenager visited on Saturday, and I have reached out to the owners of the business to discuss what support is available to them or may be required.

This situation is a reminder of the importance of using the Check in TAS app and remaining vigilant. There have been more than 57 million check-ins in Tasmania across over 32,000 venues.

It is also a timely reminder about the importance of practicing COVID-safe behaviours. Keep maintaining a physical distance, wear a face mask where required, cover coughs and sneezes, and observe restrictions and safety plans that may be in place. Importantly, stay home if you’re unwell and get tested.

We also know how crucial vaccination is – it’s our best defence against the virus and pleasingly, 77.5 per cent of Tasmanians aged 16 and over have had one dose, with 60 per cent now fully vaccinated.

However, this means there are still around 100,000 Tasmanians aged 16 and over who haven’t had a vaccination, and I’d ask you to please make this a priority, to protect yourself, your loved ones and the community.

Anyone aged 12 and over can get vaccinated at a GP, pharmacy or state-run community clinic, and over the next six weeks, there are thousands of appointments available. So please: Don’t wait. Vaccinate.

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