Tasmania records 1185 new COVID-19 cases

Another 1185 new COVID-19 infections have been recorded in Tasmania, and 29 are in hospital.
Another 1185 new COVID-19 infections have been recorded in Tasmania, and 29 are in hospital.

Tasmania has recorded 1185 new COVID-19 infections as the "managed outbreak" at a hospital now includes eight patients and two staff.

The medical ward has been locked down at the Latrobe-based Mersey Community Hospital with no more admissions, visitors or transfers allowed, Tasmania's Chief Medical Officer Tony Lawler said on Wednesday.

One of the newly infected individuals has been transferred to the North West Regional Hospital, where two other COVID-19 positive patients were transferred on Monday, while one has moved to Launceston General Hospital.

The four other COVID-19 positive patients will remain at the Mersey, where two staff members have also been infected.

However, Professor Lawler said it remains safe to attend Mersey for emergency care, outpatient appointments or procedural treatment.

"The outbreak is currently impacting the medical ward, with other areas of the hospital continuing to operate safely," he told reporters.

"I'm confident that all necessary steps are being taken ... and that at this stage, this is a managed outbreak.

"We hope to transition to a controlled outbreak over the coming days of testing and monitoring. I want to assure you that we have prepared for this."

Twenty-nine people with COVID-19 are in hospital across Tasmania, according to figures released on Wednesday, a rise from 25 reported on Tuesday.

Twelve of them are being treated specifically for virus symptoms, with two people remaining in intensive care.

Seventeen people with the virus are in hospital for unrelated medical conditions.

Tasmania's number of active cases has dropped slightly from Tuesday's figure of 6417 to 6323.

Thirty-six people are staying in community management clinics and 388 are receiving care at home.

Prof Lawler could not say whether the state had reached its Omicron peak but described Wednesday's steadying figures as "certainly encouraging".

"The important thing is that the Tasmanian community continues, as it has been, to be vigilant for symptoms (and) to continue using the Check In TAS app," he said.

Meanwhile, Labor's shadow education minister Josh Willie has demanded the state government provide more information about its return-to-school plan ahead of the February 9 restart.

"The school community is at a crucial juncture when assurances need to be given," Mr Willie said.

Greens education spokeswoman Rosalie Woodruff also raised concerns about school air safety for students with disability.

Tasmanian health minister Jeremy Rockliff, who will serve as acting education minister until Sarah Courtney returns from leave early next month, said the government would provide more information about its return-to-school plan on Thursday after a national cabinet meeting.

Approximately 27 per cent of five to 11-year-olds in Tasmania have received their first COVID-19 vaccination, Mr Rockliff added.

Meanwhile, the state government's COVID-19 business impact support program opened on Wednesday for small businesses that have suffered a downturn due to the virus since December 15.

Eligible businesses may receive between $1000 and $5000 of funding.

Support will also be available to businesses that experienced an unavoidable loss of perishable goods

Tasmania has dropped border entry testing requirements and travel registration rules for fully vaccinated arrivals.

Unvaccinated people are still required to return a negative rapid antigen test in the 24 hours before reaching Tasmania and must quarantine for five days on arrival.

Australian Associated Press