A coronavirus outbreak across patients and staff has forced a northern Tasmanian hospital to close a medical ward to new admissions.
Eight patients from ward 5D at the Launceston General Hospital, as well as two staff, have tested positive, health department secretary Kathrine Morgan-Wicks said on Tuesday afternoon.
The hospital was also experiencing a "significant level of acute care demand" in its emergency department.
"If people have conditions that are not life-threatening and can be treated by a general practitioner, we encourage them to reconsider attending the (emergency department) during this surge period," Ms Morgan-Wicks said.
"The public can have confidence that the needs of emergency presentations will be met.
"All possible bed alternatives, including already contracted private hospital beds and available district hospital beds will be utilised as appropriate to support patient access and flow."
The hospital is undertaking COVID-19 screening of patients and staff. A handful of patients tested positive in an outbreak at the facility in April.
Tasmania recorded 913 new cases on Tuesday, with 46 positive people in hospital including one in intensive care.
Australian Associated Press
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