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

Novel Coronavirus (04 Feb 2020)

All Staff



Dear Colleagues

As Head of the State Service, I regard the health and safety of all Tasmanian State Service employees as a number one priority.

I want to assure you we are well prepared in Tasmania to respond to the novel coronavirus (coronavirus) situation. The risk of the coronavirus in Tasmania is very low.

I can assure you that we are getting the latest information about the coronavirus and your safety is a priority. There is national advice around contact (or suspected contact)  with the coronavirus -  you can find a summary at the end of this letter.

At this point in time, there are no confirmed cases in Tasmania. There is no need for alarm.

What we do need to do is take advice from the relevant health agencies and take appropriate precautionary measures. There is no need to wear a face mask and it is important that you do continue with normal hygiene practices that we use every day (such as washing your hands).

Tasmania's Director of Public Health, Dr Mark Veitch, is providing regular updates to local GPs, hospitals and other sectors to ensure people who work in these settings are aware of the  protocols in place to identify and manage a suspected case of coronavirus.

Our public health colleagues are also working closely with national authorities to ensure a consistent approach in relation to the virus.

As State Servants, we all play an important role in delivering a wide range of services to the community in workplaces, parks, schools, health settings and hospitals, and in tourism and community services.

To make sure you are receiving the most up-to-date information, I ask that you please encourage your friends and family to visit the Department of Health website which has a link to the Commonwealth Department of Health website. This is regularly updated each day with all of the current information and resources:

It's normal that others may look to you to answer questions, or you may have questions yourself. The Public Health Hotline is the best source for any general and clinical advice relating to the coronavirus: 1800 671 738. This is also the number to call if you are concerned that you may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Consistent with national advice, we recommend the following for all Tasmanian State Service employees.

Employees who:

  • have been in contact with any confirmed novel coronavirus case should not attend work and remain isolated in their home for 14 days following exposure.
  • have recently visited Hubei Province in China should not attend work and remain isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province.
  • have departed mainland China and arrived in Australia on or after I February 2020 should not attend work and remain isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving China.
  • arrived in Australia from mainland China (other than Hubei  Province)  before I February 2020 can attend work, as long as they are well.

Where an employee has to self-isolate in their homes, they will, where possible, be supported to work from home. However where this is not practical, they will still continue to be paid for the period they are not attending the workplace.

Let's work together to make our sites and workplaces as safe as possible. Let's also consider how we can support those in the community who may be affected as a result of the coronavirus.

Kind regards

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