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  • Virus jump warning as Tas schools return

    Author: AAP

Tasmania on Wednesday becomes the final jurisdiction to welcome public school students back for term one.

The Australian Education Union has raised concerns over staffing levels should teachers be forced into isolation because of the virus.

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Tasmanian branch president David Genford said several hundred teachers had yet to provide evidence of their vaccination status as part of a education department mandate.

Acting Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said 96 per cent of education department staff had registered their vaccination status, a "very high" proportion in line with community vaccination rates.


"The department will continue to work with those who are yet to provide proof of their vaccination," he said.

Mr Rockliff says the state can call on 1700 relief teachers as back-up to fulltime staff.

Tasmania has advised children to take a rapid antigen test if they are symptomatic, with the state not undertaking surveillance testing like NSW and Victoria.

Deputy Public Health Director Scott McKeown told reporters earlier this week the decision was based on the state's lower level of transmission.

"We should prepare ourselves for an increase in the number of cases, but it doesn't mean it will have a significant impact on our health system," he said.

Mr Genford said only one in five AEU members who responded to a survey said they felt comfortable returning to work.

The AEU has also raised concerns about children being provided with ill-fitting adult masks and a lack of proper ventilation in classrooms.

Masks are mandatory for high school students but not primary school students.

As of Tuesday, Tasmania had 3302 active cases, continuing a downward trend over several weeks, with 10 people being treated in hospital for the virus.

It recorded 601 new infections, a rise on daily figures reported the four days prior.


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