The Tasmanian Government’s number one priority since the start of the pandemic has been to keep Tasmanians safe, and it is pleasing to see COVID case numbers continue to plateau with 726 cases confirmed today.
With schools due to return in the next two weeks, the plan to provide back to school packs, which include RATS and masks is well underway.
The packs for Early Childhood Education and Care are being put together today and tomorrow, with distribution to start on Monday with a click and collect system for providers.
Public Health and the Department of Education are meeting with union representatives from the AEU and the CPSU today to talk through the COVID safety measures for schools, which have been put in place based on Public Health advice.
In addition, the extension of businesses eligible for close contact exemptions will come into effect from midday tomorrow. It will now include health, welfare, care and support workers such as those involved in the production of medical, pharmaceutical and health supplies, as well as pharmacy workers.
It also includes veterinary and animal welfare services, end of life services, dental services, critical welfare support services, education and childcare services, telecommunications, data, broadcasting and media services.
The timber industry, forestry and mining activities will also be included along with critical workers in supermarkets and grocery stores, butchers, bakeries, vehicle maintenance and roadside assistance and removalist services.
As we make the transition to living with COVID, it’s important we review processes in place that reflect public health requirements.
Work is currently underway to determine whether the Check In Tas App should remain in place, and potentially be used for certain high risk settings, such as aged care facilities, hospitals and large mass gatherings, such as festivals.
Finally, I would like to remind Tasmanians that vaccination is our greatest line of defence against COVID-19 and it’s the simple things that will keep us safe – such as washing our hands, covering our coughs, wearing a mask indoors, socially distancing and testing if we are unwell.
More than 36 per cent of eligible Tasmanians over 18 have now had their booster, and if you’re due. Make sure you get it.
With 45 per cent of Tasmanian children aged 5 to 11 having had their first vaccination prior to school returning, there is still time for every child to receive a vaccination before school returns.