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05 August 2022

RACGP: Let’s fight COVID-19 complacency in Tasmania

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has urged Tasmanians to step up measures to reduce COVID-19 community transmission and keep people safe.

It comes following recent case number statistics showing high COVID-19 case numbers across the state. Nation-wide the number of COVID-19 related deaths, as a proportion of the nation’s total population, is higher than in the United Kingdom, United States, France, or Canada.

RACGP President Adj. Professor Karen Price said that the pandemic was far from over.

“We all have a vital role to play in limiting transmission of COVID-19 and other viruses including the flu and keeping those in our community more at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 safe,” she said.

“Many people, particularly those who are vaccinated and boosted, will only experience relatively minor effects if they contract COVID-19. However, for others, including older people, the immunocompromised and those with serious underlying health conditions, contracting this virus is far more likely to lead to severe effects including hospitalisation. The high rate of COVID-19 transmission nation-wide including Tasmania is placing tremendous strain on our health system, including our over-stretched hospitals.

“So, now is not the time for complacency. I know it’s frustrating and that many people, particularly in places like my home city of Melbourne, are feeling ‘battle weary’ after living through lockdowns and social restrictions for many months on end. No one is suggesting that lockdowns are on the cards; however, we can and should embrace practical steps that we’ve all learnt over the last two years to limit the spread of COVID-19. Let’s all work together to bring down COVID-19 case numbers.”

RACGP Tasmania Chair Dr Tim Jackson said that there are practical steps everyone can take.

“I urge all Tasmanians to step up their efforts and do what they can to limit community transmission,” he said.

“This is no time to take our foot off the peddle. Instead, we need to look after one another because as a community we are all in this together and some people, including older people and the immunocompromised, are more vulnerable to severe effects from the virus.

“So, on top of getting vaccinated and boosted, I urge everyone to wear a mask indoors and where social distancing is difficult. Have a conversation with your boss to see if working from home is an option too whilst case numbers are high and do what you can to catch up with family and friends outside or try to ensure indoor gatherings happen in well-ventilated spaces.

“If you fall ill, get tested right away and if your test is positive for COVID-19 - isolate at home. We can all do small things to stop the spread of COVID-19, influenza, and other viruses by coughing and sneezing into our elbow and keeping our hands clean. So, please do the right thing, be community-minded and take those small but important steps to help limit transmission in Tassie and encourage people you know to do the same.”

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