Contact tracing under way for Tassie’s new virus case

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein and Dr Mark Veitch will give a live Covid update, as the Department of Health undergoes contact tracing for a traveller who tested positive in Tasmania. FOLLOW LIVE >>

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Victoria will enter its sixth lockdown from 8pm tonight, with Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein and Dr Mark Veitch about to provide a live Covid update — likely to announce we are shutting our borders to the mainland state.

Earlier, Mr Gutwein has confirmed the state has recorded its first Covid case in more than a year, with a man who travelled from NSW testing positive.

Mr Gutwein announced a 31-year-old man who travelled from NSW into Tasmania tested positive to Covid while in quarantine, before returning to Sydney.

“At this stage we don’t have confirmation that this is Delta but on the basis, this man travelled from NSW it’s a high risk,” Mr Gutwein said.

The man flew from NSW from Victoria before he boarded a flight on Monday, August 2 to travel to Launceston.

This weekend’s AFL game between Collingwood and Hawthorn has been cancelled.

Tasmanian Public Health are currently contact tracing to identify anyone who may have been in contact with the man.

The man was not in the wider Tasmanian community.

Contact tracing is focusing on his flights, processing at the airport, travel to and from the airport and his time in the hotel.

Anyone who may have been in contact with the man is being contacted and asked to self-isolate as a precaution.

Further investigations will establish the level of risk from contact with the man, and specific advice will be provided by Public Health to those in isolation.

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Dr Mark Veitch said the man developed Covid symptoms today, likely being infectious while in Tasmania.

“This person came through the (Launceston) airport and was following a transit corridor through the airport and to the hotel,” he said.

“We have a good idea of all the movements of this person and the people to whom may have been exposed to him.”

Dr Veitch said they were taking the risk of infection “very seriously” and would announce a range of locations where this person moved.

“We know they left Sydney they took Flight V808 from Sydney and flew to Melbourne,” he said.

“If you were on that flight I’m asking you to immediately isolate.

“The person then travelled on flight VA1634 which left Melbourne at 10:40 on Monday the 2nd. We know the person when they arrived they were escorted at Launceston Hotel from the airport to Peppers hotel.

“They left in a taxi in the back seat wearing a mask and we are currently tracking down the taxi to get in touch with the driver and we will be requiring them to quarantine and get tested.”

Dr Veitch said the man’s movement out of Tasmania was “quite swift”.

“We are putting out an alert to anyone who was at Launceston Airport Wednesday yesterday between 9am to 10am to please isolate and contact the public health hotline,” he said.

“Like we’ve said it’s always possible we are going to have case in Tasmania anybody with any symptoms of cold or flu please get a test.

“People should not travel to Tasmania without an approved pass.. they are breaking a law under the emergency management act.”

As reported this week, short, sharp lockdowns will be the government’s most likely weapon against any incursion of the Delta strain of coronavirus into Tasmania, Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff said.

Mr Rockliff said any cases of the virus in Tasmania would prompt a swift response.

“We’ll be guided by public health advice but I would say it would be highly likely that those short, sharp lock downs are the way to go and jump on this as quickly as possible, so we can return to so-called normality as quickly as possible, but also saving lives as well,” he said.

“The Delta strain, as the premier has said, is extremely, extremely serious, a lot more infectious than previous strains.

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