Tas reports 1489 virus cases: a new record

Tasmania has recorded a four-digit coronavirus daily case figure for the first time, with the island state reporting 1489 new infections.

The number, almost double the 751 cases reported on Thursday, brings the number of active infections to 4681.

Three cases are being treated in hospital specifically for COVID-19 symptoms, while a further five people are in hospital for unrelated conditions.

Seventy-nine people are being managed at community clinics, while 350 are utilising the COVID-at-home care method.

The daily case number comes from 5208 laboratory tests at state-run clinics.

Premier Peter Gutwein will hold a press conference on Friday to give more details about the state’s shift to using rapid antigen tests (RAT) as the “primary tool” for virus detection.

The state government is planning to hand out free RATs and wants people to report positive results on the public health hotline or coronavirus website.

It comes after lengthy queues at PCR testing clinics around the state.

Health authorities earlier this week conceded true case figures were likely up to double what is being recorded.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Tasmania has suspended jury trials until at least March 15 due to the prevalence of cases in the community.

Chief Justice Alan Blow said the risk of exposing jurors and others to the virus is “unacceptable”.

He said jury trials operating under current case numbers would likely be aborted as a result of jurors testing positive or being forced to isolate as a close contact.


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