Jenny Gale, Head of the State Service, message to all staff

COVID-19 Update (12 Apr 2020)

To: All Tasmanian State Servants

Dear Colleagues

As you know, the Government has already taken strong measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Tasmania. The Premier has today announced that additional measures will be required in order to stop the spread of the cluster of cases in the north-west of the State.

Yesterday, 11 more cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the north-west. Nine of these were health care workers and two were close contacts of health care workers. This brings the total number of health care workers on the north-west coast who have tested positive to 35. This is a serious outbreak and it is important the Government takes further steps to ensure we can get on top of the situation. As the Premier has said today, we are in the fight of our lives, and that fight is occurring on the north-west coast.

There will be an Order issued under the Public Health Act, to be effective from midnight tonight which will place further restrictions on the north-west coast for two weeks, ending 11.59pm Sunday, 26 April 2020. It will apply to the Local Government Areas of: Latrobe, Kentish, Devonport, Central Coast, Burnie, Wynyard-Waratah, Circular Head and West Coast.


The further restrictions will see most retail businesses close for the two week period, with only essential services remaining open, such as (but not limited to) supermarkets, food takeaways, service stations, pharmacies, GPs and medical services, vets and vet supplies, hardware stores (for trade only), and banks.


Significant changes will be instituted at the North West Regional Hospital and North West Private Hospital from 7am Monday, 13 April 2020. The Secretary, Department of Health, will be communicating with staff via email, and an SMS will be circulated to the north-west region to alert the community to changes and advising where to find further information.

State Servants

In relation to state servants who live or work in the local government areas mentioned previously in the north-west, you should be working from home for the two week period up until Sunday, 26 April 2020, unless because of the work you do, your Head of Agency requires you to be in the work place.

For specific details of your Department’s work sites, you will hear from your Head of Agency direct.

General Advice

The general advice for residents of the north-west is that unless you have been directed toself-isolate you should follow the guidance for all Tasmanians at this point. That means stay home unless you need to leave home to undertake essential activities. This includes buying essential supplies, for medical reasons, work, or exercise.

My message to all of you is as it has been throughout our response to the pandemic. Please take all steps you are asked to, so together we can stay safe, save lives, and slow the spread of COVID-19, particularly:

  • wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
  • practice physical distancing and remain more than 1.5 metres from others when you can
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly
  • stay home unless you are leaving for essential services.

For more information please visit the Tasmanian Government’s coronavirus website at or call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on: 1800 671 738

Yours sincerely

Jenny Gale Signature block
Jenny Gale
Head of the State Service
Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet
12 Apr 2020