News Coronavirus Tasmania reports 601 new virus infections
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Tasmania reports 601 new virus infections

Tas COVID-19
Premier Peter Gutwein has defended the state's back to school plan. Photo: AAP
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Tasmania has recorded 601 new COVID-19 cases, an increase in daily numbers reported in recent days.

There are 10 people being treated in hospital for the virus, a rise from Monday’s figure of eight. One of them is in intensive care.

Five people with the virus are in hospital for unrelated medical conditions, the state’s health department says.

Tasmania recorded 570 new infections on February 4, with daily infections in the 400s in the following three days.

There are 3302 documented active cases statewide, continuing a broad downward trend over several weeks.

Public school students are preparing to return to the classroom on Wednesday.

The Liberal state government has defended its back-to-school plan, which doesn’t include surveillance COVID-19 testing of students or teachers.

Students have been advised to take a rapid antigen test when symptomatic.

The government is providing back-to-school packs to every student containing two RATs, with two more tests available from schools per week if needed.

“There’s no better place than school for a child’s education, or their wellbeing,” Premier Peter Gutwein said.

“I would encourage parents to ensure that their children attend school this week.”

Public health officials have said surveillance testing, which occurs in NSW and Victoria, is not needed because of Tasmania’s lower transmission.

Tasmania has recorded 20 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, with seven of those occurring since borders reopened in mid-December.

– AAP