Potential community transmission means lockdown must occur now

Tasmanian Labor
  • Source of health worker’s infection unknown
  • Tasmania must act as though community transmission has occurred
  • Childcare sector needs planned and supported shutdown
  • Labor has called on Peter Gutwein to act immediately to put the state into full lockdown.

    Labor Leader Rebecca White said the diagnosis of a Tasmanian health worker with COVID-19 means the time for half measures is over.

    “The source of the health worker’s infection is unknown. But we must act on the basis that this is Tasmania’s first case of community transmission.

    “That means taking immediate steps to protect the community before it is too late to contain the spread of the virus. All non-essential services must now close.

    “I call on Peter Gutwein not to hesitate, but to set a date for community lockdown so that people can take the steps needed to prepare for that.

    “No government has regretted taking strong action early; governments across the world have regretted not taking stronger action when they had the chance. We need to learn from their mistakes.

    “Too many people have already lost their job. The last thing we need now is for them to also lose someone they love because action wasn’t taken quickly enough when government had the chance.”

    Ms White said some parts of the community still require attention from government, including the childcare sector.

    “Schools are preparing for closure in Tasmania, but there is no move to close childcare centres.

    “People are withdrawing their children from care, and many can’t afford to pay to keep a place available for when the crisis is over. That means childcare centres are losing income and once they close, without action to support the sector, some centres may never reopen.

    “State governments should work with the Federal Government to begin a planned closure of childcare centres, ensuing arrangements remain in place for children who still require care – such as the children of essential workers.

    “This is the approach taken to school closures, and provides certainty for parents and staff, and safe environments for all.

    “Childcare centres would be better off with a planned closure now, rather than slowly bleeding dry.”

    Rebecca White

    Labor Leader

    /Public Release. View in full here.