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Monitoring for COVID in the community

There are two main ways we continue to monitor for COVID-19 across the community

Monitoring for COVID in the community

Last Updated: 03 Jun 2021 10:25am

Ways we continue to monitor for COVID-19 across the community.

These are:

  • Testing all people who come forward with symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild.
  • Wastewater sampling to detect any COVID-19 ‘viral fragments’ not picked up by testing people through clinics.

Getting a COVID-19 test


Widespread testing of people across the community is vital to detect and manage any new cases of COVID-19. If we detect cases quickly, we have the best chance of stopping the spread and keeping Tasmanians safe.

How can I help?

Get tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough, sore or itchy throat, breathing difficulties and loss of taste or smell.

When travelling to your testing appointment, don’t use public transport or ridesharing services. If you don’t have your own transport, let your GP or the Public Health Hotline know when you make your appointment, as travel assistance may be available.

For more information about testing you can call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 or visit testing.

Wastewater sampling and testing

We can see if a case of COVID-19 has recently been in a local area by sampling and testing wastewater.

How does it work?

Samples are collected on a regular basis and tested in a lab. If a positive test result is confirmed, a specialised team will work with community stakeholders and guide the public health response. Measures may include: increasing clinical testing capacity in the local area, and encouraging residents to practise good hygiene and monitor themselves for symptoms that require testing.

A positive test result doesn’t necessarily mean there are active cases of COVID-19 in the community. A positive test result could be because a person previously had COVID-19, but is no longer infectious. The viral fragments could also be from a person who is no longer in the area, or is in quarantine. Wastewater results are published online each week. If you would like to know more about wastewater testing, visit Wastewater.