Two deaths in Tasmania of people who tested positive to coronavirus

Two Tasmanians have died who previously tested positive for coronavirus and also had pre-existing health conditions, authorities have announced — but until the coroner can determine the circumstances of the deaths, the state toll from the illness remains at 13.

Authorities on Monday night announced a man in his 60s died on Sunday morning at the North West Regional Hospital, in Tasmania’s north-west region — the area which has been hardest hit by the disease.

A woman, also in her 60s, died this morning at the same hospital, Dr Scott McKeown, the Acting Director of Public Health, said in a statement.

“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,” Dr McKeown said.

“Tasmania’s coronavirus-related deaths remain at 13, depending upon the outcomes of the coroner’s determination.

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

There have been no new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Tasmania today, with the state total remaining at 226 cases.

The hospital was one of two facilities in the region which were closed after a number of staff tested positive to coronavirus, with over 200 cases linked to staff and patients from NWRH and its co-located private hospital.

In May, a 50-member Australian Defence Force team, joined by seven Australian Medical Assistance (AUSMAT) personnel, were flown in to help the hospital come back online after the facility underwent a “deep clean”.

Operations at the NWRH have since returned to normal, with restrictions on people’s movements in the region slowly being wound back as part of the easing of the state’s pandemic response.

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