This coronavirus article is unlocked and free to read in the interest of community health and safety.

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8.18pm: FOUR DAYS WITHOUT A NEW CASE

TASMANIA has recorded no new cases of coronavirus for the fourth consecutive day since breaking a week-long streak on Friday night.

Director of Public Health Dr Mark Veitch confirmed the state’s total remains at 226 cases.

Any Tasmanian with cold or flu-like symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, or fever should contact their GP or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange testing for coronavirus.

6.30pm: RENT RELIEF A LIFELINE FOR STRUGGLING TENANTS

RESIDENTIAL tenants experiencing financial woes because of the coronavirus crisis will be given a much-needed boost to help pay their rent.

The State Government has established the COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund, which will foot the bill for those suffering extreme hardship.

Attorney-General Elise Archer said those eligible would be able to access support to pay four weeks’ worth of rent, up to a maximum of $2000.

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5.50pm: STILL NO DATE FOR OUTBREAK INQUIRY

TERMS of reference are being drawn up for an independent review into the deadly coronavirus outbreak at a hospital in Tasmania’s North-West, but there is still no date for when it will start.

It is almost three weeks since an interim report on the COVID-19 cluster at the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie — completed by state health officials — was released to the public.

It found the Ruby Princess cruise ship was likely “ground zero” for the outbreak, with the virus spreading from infected returned passengers to staff at the hospital, many of whom continued to work while infectious.

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11am: WATCH THE PREMIER’S COVID-19 UPDATE

8am: A CAUTIOUS COMEBACK FOR EATERIES

TASMANIAN restaurants and cafes have thrust open their doors again, welcoming customers to dine in as the first stage of coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

A selection of hospitality businesses decided to recommence trade, with up to 10 diners allowed to be seated at any one time.

For many, it was an extension to a takeaway-only model adopted in recent months, but for others, reopening for such a small amount of customers was not viable.

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7am: COVID-19 VACCINATION WILL NOT BE COMPULSORY

No Australians will be forced to vaccinate against coronavirus when a shot becomes available, deputy chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly said.

It comes as concerns are building that Australia may not get quick access to any COVID-19 vaccine developed overseas with powerful foreign countries fighting to treat their own citizens first.

And even though Australia has a local manufacturer — CSL — it may not be able to produce some of the new MRNA and DNA vaccines against coronavirus because it does not have the technology to do so.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

8.50pm, yesterday: TWO FORMER COVID-19 PATIENTS DIE

TWO Tasmanians who previously tested positive for coronavirus have died in recent days, but health authorities have been unable to determine if COVID-19 caused their deaths.

Acting Director of Public Health Dr Scott McKeown confirmed the deaths in a statement on Monday night.

“A man in his 60s died yesterday morning at the North West Regional Hospital,” he said.

“A woman, also in her 60s, died in the early hours of this morning, also at the North West Regional Hospital.

“Both deaths have been referred to the Coroner.

“Until more information relating to the deaths is obtained from the Coroner, they will not be counted as coronavirus-related deaths.

“I extend my condolences to the families and loved ones of both people.”

There were no new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Tasmania on Thursday, with the state’s total remaining at 226 cases.

Any Tasmanian with cold or flu-like symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, or fever should contact their GP or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange testing for coronavirus.

Originally published as FREE LIVE BLOG: Four days without a new case



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