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Overdue Return of Masks in RHH

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Friday, 21 April 2023

Tags: Health, COVID-19, Royal Hobart Hospital

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

The Royal Hobart Hospital's decision to reinstate mask mandates is totally predictable, welcome and overdue. It only highlights the government’s dangerous and ideological decision to remove mask wearing in high risk settings, like hospitals, in the first place. 
Since opening the state's borders a year and a half ago, the Tasmanian government has tried to pretend the Covid pandemic is over. Since then, hundreds of Tasmanians have died, many more are dealing with long term impacts of infection, and our health system and healthcare workers are under intense strain.
This pandemic is far from over, but at every opportunity the Liberals have reduced the protections needed to keep our community - and especially vulnerable people - safe. The most appalling decision Jeremy Rockliff made was to remove the requirement for mandatory mask wearing in high-risk settings.
Removing protections in enclosed social settings has increased Covid’s spread. As a result, we’re seeing yet another surge of cases, and a worsening and life-threatening situation at the Royal Hobart Hospital. 
When the Rockliff Government directed mask mandates be dropped in hospitals they put extremely unwell patients at further risk, not to mention staff. This life-saving decision to reintroduce mask mandates in hospital is sensible, but it should never have been removed.