Tasmania bans visits to public hospitals and aged care homes – Southern Cross Care (Tas) resident exposed to infected hospital worker

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The ban – which began at 12pm yesterday – will see all visitors to the state’s public aged care homes barred from visiting, except for “compassionate and end-of-life reasons”.

The measures will be reviewed after two weeks, Premier Peter Gutwein stated.

“What we don’t want over the Easter period is people with time on their hands thinking ‘what we’ll do is pop over and see mum and dad’,” he said.

“We want to ensure we keep the most vulnerable in the state safe.”

According to the Department of Health, Tasmania – which was the first of the States and Territories to close its borders – has 85 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has recorded two deaths.

The announcement comes as Southern Cross Care (Tas) released a statement saying a female resident was exposed during a visit to the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie to a health worker who has since tested positive to COVID-19.

Six staff and one patient at the hospital have now tested positive.

The resident from its Yaraandoo aged care home at Somerset has been placed in isolation at the home and is being supported by staff who will also stay in isolation (SCC (Tas) restricted all visitors as of 7pm Tuesday night).

“The resident is not displaying any symptoms but we are taking this seriously and following all guidelines and procedures,” CEO Robyn Boyd said.

Currently, the Federal Government’s advice is for aged care visits to be restricted to two people per resident per day with children aged under 16 banned.

Could this be the first sign that all States and Territories could move to a complete lockdown?