Important community updates

Recently updated

Mersey Emergency Department

Published 1 June 2020

The Mersey Community Hospital Emergency Department is now open daily between 8am and 10pm.

Patients who need emergency care outside these hours will be redirected to other hospitals, including the North West Regional Hospital and Launceston General Hospital.

Ambulance Tasmania will continue to transport people in need of emergency hospitalisation to the hospital that is best able to provide the service that patient needs.

Visiting public hospital patients

Published 30 May 2020

As of Monday 1 June 2020, new measures will be in place to enable restricted visits to patients in public hospitals.

Visiting hours will be restricted to 2pm-6pm daily.

Visitors will be limited to a maximum of one per patient at any one time. However exceptions are in place for some hospital wards. See Public hospital patient visitation for more information.

All visitors will be required to complete a visitor screening tool prior to entering the hospital.

People should not visit if they have:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Been advised to self isolate following international or interstate travel or COVID-19 testing.

Intending visitors to private hospitals should contact the hospital directly to find out their policy in relation to visitors.

Cashless bus fares and fare amnesty extended

Published 26 May 2020

The temporary arrangements for cashless buses and the bus fare amnesty have been extended for all public school bus and general access services until Sunday 5 July 2020.

See Public transport for more information.

Aged care facility visits

Published 24 May 2020

As of Monday 25 May 2020, residents at aged care facilities can now have one visit a day, by up to two visitors, for no longer than two hours.

Visits should continue to be either in the resident’s room, outdoors or a designated area in the facility – they should not be in common areas.

Read more about the visit restrictions, including the requirement to have an influenza vaccination if visiting an aged care facility.

Testing locations for COVID-19

Published 23 May 2020

Additional mobile testing sites are available across Tasmania. Some sites do not require bookings and offer drive-up testing.

Tasmanian Government COVID-19 Testing Clinics
  • Hobart
  • Launceston
  • Devonport
  • Burnie
Booking required - call Public Health Hotline: 1800 671 738

On premises testing

Best option for high-risk people including:

  • healthcare, aged care and residential care workers or staff with direct patient contact
  • people who travelled outside Tasmania or had close contact with a confirmed case within 14 days of developing symptoms
  • people in quarantine (day 10-12).
Mobile testing clinics
31 May
8:30am - 3pm

1 June
8:30am - 12:30pm 
Queenstown, Queenstown Swimming Pool (66/64 Esplanade) Booking required - call Public Health Hotline: 1800 671 738 Drive-up testing
2 - 4 June
10am - 3:30pm
Sorell, Sorell Market area (47 Cole Street) No booking required Drive-up testing
2 - 4 June
10am - 3:30pm
Prospect Vale, Prospect Government Offices (171 Westbury Road) No booking required Drive-up testing

It is recommended that if you have any of the following symptoms, get tested for COVID-19:

  • fever
  • runny nose
  • cough
  • sore/itchy throat, or
  • shortness of breath.

If you become very unwell or have difficulty breathing, call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

Read more about Testing for COVID-19.

School students

Published 22 May 2020

From Monday, 25 May 2020 school resumes in the classroom for Government Primary School students (Kindergarten to Grade 6) and Year 11 and 12 students at Government extension high schools and Colleges. Students attending Catholic and Independent Schools should check what arrangements are in place for their school.

All other students (Years 7-10) should continue to learn from home – unless they are unable to be appropriately supervised or supported to learn from home. At this stage, these Grades will return to classroom learning from Tuesday, 9 June 2020.

Students should not be sent to school or childcare if they feel unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms including:

  • fever
  • runny nose
  • cough, sore/itchy throat or
  • shortness of breath

These students should remain at home and you should phone your GP or the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for a referral to be tested for COVID-19.

Once school-based learning resumes, you may still choose to keep your child at home to learn. However, parents who make this choice will be responsible for supporting their child’s learning through their own resources. The Department of Education Learning at Home webpage provides some ideas and activities which may assist in this instance. Please let your school know if you plan to keep your child at home to learn.

If your child has health concerns and is vulnerable to COVID-19, your child will still be supported by your school to learn from home once school-based learning resumes. For more information, talk to your school about what support they can provide.

As school in the classroom resumes, all parents, carers and students should be aware and follow additional measures put in place at schools to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 North West Regional Hospital Outbreak Interim Report

Published 30 April 2020

The preliminary report by Public Health Services (PHS) on the outbreak of COVID-19 associated with healthcare facilities in the Northwest Region of Tasmania has been released.

The report summarises the public health data obtained from confirmed cases associated with the outbreak and discusses these in the context of lessons learned that could inform the response to future COVID-19 and other outbreaks in Tasmanian healthcare facilities.

The report is available on the Department of Health website.

Legislative Council Elections to be deferred

Published 5 April 2020

The Tasmanian 2020 Legislative Council Elections for the divisions of Huon and Rosevears will be deferred in a further measure to protect Tasmanians against the spread of coronavirus.

The Constitution Act 1934 provides that the poll must be held on a Saturday in the month of May. Currently they are to be held on Saturday, 30 May.

A Notice will be issued under section 13(1) of the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020, for the election to now occur before the next sitting of the Legislative Council, slated for 25 August 2020.

Should public health circumstances require a further deferral of the election, then a further Notice would need to be considered.