Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
Last December, the Premier abandoned his longstanding commitment to putting health and safety first, and adopted a “let it rip” Covid response. This radical reversal of Covid management was not discussed with Tasmanians. It is based on the false hope we are towards the end of the Covid pandemic. There is no credible evidence to support this belief.
Since Peter Gutwein opened the State’s borders and welcomed COVID to our island, we’ve gone from a confident and healthy island to a bunkered-down, infected community, with many living in anxiety.
Since opening the borders, there have been five deaths, 29,071 cases, and currently there are 16 hospitalisations, 1 ICU admission and 14 Tasmanians are in community case management facilities.
Lutruwita/Tasmania needs to flatten the curve to save lives and livelihoods.
The Greens’ plan puts the health and safety of Tasmanians and local businesses first. Instead of trying to normalise infection as the Gutwein Government is doing, we want to see Tasmanians kept safe from Covid and the risk of long Covid.
Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
Our key goal must be to reduce transmission of the virus to save lives and prevent debilitating long Covid. It’s also critical to preventing Ambulance Tasmania and the State’s public hospitals from being overrun, and for the safe function of society.
We urgently need to fast-track vaccines for 5-11 year olds, mandate third dose vaccination for all front-facing government employees and school staff, and invest in ventilation infrastructure. We need P2, N95 and similar masks to be mandatory and provided free for teachers, and staff in aged, disability and child care.
The decision to dilute or drop evidence-based public health measures to restrict the movement of coronavirus through our population was a grave mistake. Our plan reinstates a timely testing process for people to determine if they are Covid-positive, and makes Rapid Antigen Tests free and accessible, including for close contacts with and without symptoms.
Further delay in implementing these evidence-based public health measures will see infections continue to increase, along with hospitalisations and deaths, and ensure more cases of debilitating long Covid in the community.
Tasmanians deserve better than ‘let it rip’ as the Covid management strategy for Omicron, and likely future Covid variants They know a new plan for Covid is desperately needed. The Greens’ plan is backed by public health evidence and a commitment to public safety.
The Greens’ plan includes:
- Accelerated vaccination for high risk groups, including children under 12, and third doses for the double vaccinated.
- A delay in returning under 12s to face-to-face learning, except for children of essential workers, until all children are able to be double vaccinated
- Masks for primary school children when they return to classrooms
- Upgraded mask advice and mandates to prevent Omicron spread
- Increase resourcing for COVID @ Home
- Pay front-line healthcare workers a Covid allowance
- Investment in a substantial statewide Covid-safe ventilation upgrade for all government buildings, including schools
- Grants for community organisations and private businesses to upgrade ventilation
- Reinstate tenancy protections and cost of living relief measures
- Formally recognise, and act to prevent, the risk of debilitating long Covid
You can read our full plan here - https://tasmps.greens.org.au/policy/greens-covid19-emergency-response-plan