Covid case Tasmania: Teen tests positive in Launceston

Prime Minister Peter Gutwein has reassured Tasmanians there is low risk to the community after a case was confirmed in Launceston – a teenager who tested positive after traveling from Victoria. LAST >>

A 15-year-old boy who tested positive for Covid-19 in Launceston has spent the night at the LGH hospital to reduce the risk to members in his household.

Tasmanian Prime Minister Peter Gutwein revealed that the teen will travel to Hobart with a relative later today to isolate himself at the Fountainside medi hotel.

Gutwein moved to reassure Tasmanians that there was low risk to the community after the positive Covid-19 case was diagnosed in Launceston on Saturday.

“Our health authorities are working with the family to ensure they receive proper monitoring and care,” he said.

Gutwein said all family members and primary contacts will be quarantined for 14 days, including all 10 passengers who shared Friday’s Virgin flight with the teen.

He said Launceston airport was declared an exposure site on Friday, Oct. 1, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm.

Mr Gutwein urged Tasmanians to consider traveling interstate to educate themselves on exposure sites.

“Our message to anyone thinking about traveling is to be aware of the risks,” he said.

“You may be able to get away to be in the sun for a few days, but you may have to quarantine for 14 days on your return.”

Gutwein said the state is on track to have 90 percent double-dose vaccinations among Tasmanians aged 16 and older by December 1.

Gutwein said 130,000 Tasmanians are still unvaccinated.

Health Minister Jeremey Rockliff urged eligible Tasmanians who have not been vaccinated to get their injections.

The Door of Hope clinic in Launceston opened today as a walk-in clinic with a capacity of 650 appointments for Tasmanians aged 12-17.

Mr Rockliff said there were 12,000 unvaccinated in the zip codes of Launceston and Newnham.

Health department secretary Kathryn Morgan-Wicks said Tasmania was doing an average of 800-1,000 tests a day.

She said 25,000 vaccination sites will be available to book across the state in the next six weeks, with additional clinics in Launceston.

Public Health Director Mark Veitch confirmed late Saturday night that a male teenager who traveled from Melbourne to Launceston on Friday has tested positive.

“The individual traveled from Launceston Airport to quarantine at a family home and underwent a routine Covid-19 test the same day,” said Dr Veitch.

“The individual reported that he met all requirements, including wearing a mask, from arriving at Melbourne Airport to leaving Launceston Airport.”

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The teen is moved to Hobart and is isolated at the Fountainside medi-hotel.

Virgin Australia flight VA 1364, which arrived at Launceston Airport at 11:30 a.m. Friday, has been declared an exposure site, with passengers considered to be close contacts.

The 10 passengers on the flight have been contacted. Most were already in quarantine due to existing requirements and the rest are now also in quarantine.

“A small number of biosecurity and security personnel at Launceston Airport have also been identified as casual contacts and had to be quarantined until a test was conducted,” said Dr. veitch.

“The risk to other persons at Launceston Airport at the same time as the case is low. In line with the prudent approach, the airport arrivals area, including baggage collection, has been declared an exposure site on Friday, October 1, between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm.

“People in the arrivals hall between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Friday, October 1, are casual contacts and should immediately isolate where they are and contact the Public Health Hotline at 1800 671 738 after 8 a.m. on Sunday.”

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