Coronavirus Update 15 March 2020

15 March 2020
Dr Scott McKeown, Acting Director of Public Health, Public Health Services

Coronavirus update

Tasmania has recorded six confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Four patients are in hospital in a stable condition. A further patient is stable and in isolation in their residence. All are receiving medical care as appropriate. One person has recovered and cleared the virus and been released from hospital.

People identified as close contacts of these cases have been advised by Public Health Services and placed in self-quarantine for 14 days where they will receive daily follow-up from PHS staff.

The most recent case was a woman in her 60s, who was confirmed positive on Saturday evening.

The woman is the travel companion and identified close contact of a previous Tasmanian case, who had recently travelled overseas. Because of this, she was already in isolation when she was confirmed positive. Her close contacts have been identified and contacted by PHS.

All six cases are directly linked to people or involve people who have arrived in Tasmania from overseas.

We haven’t identified evidence of transmission within our community outside of these six cases.

As of noon today, there have been 359 tests for coronavirus in Tasmania, with six being positive.

Important information for the public:

  • The risk to Tasmanians from casual contact with a confirmed case is very low.  Close contacts with confirmed cases are being managed by Public Health.
  • Anyone who develops respiratory symptoms within 14 days of returning from overseas should self-quarantine and ring the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 or contact your GP.  If you are experiencing extreme symptoms which require emergency treatment ring 000 or go to the emergency department.
  • People can help stop the spread of respiratory illness by washing their hands regularly with soap and water and covering sneezes and coughs with a tissue or their elbow.
  • The situation with coronavirus is changing regularly. People can stay up to date by visiting the Tasmanian Department of Health coronavirus website at http://www.health.tas.gov.au/coronavirus or the Australian Government Department of Health website at https://www.health.gov.au/.
  • Anyone requiring more information about coronavirus should contact the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.