New modelling for Tasmania estimates there could be more than 51,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and 87 deaths within six months of the borders reopening.
Under this scenario the vaccination rate would be at 90 per cent, restrictions such as mask wearing and density limitations would apply, and the contact tracing system working at 80 per cent.
There would be 258 daily cases, 242 people in hospital every day, and 68 people in intensive care.
Under this scenario, the hospital system in Tasmania could manage.
But the modelling also provides examples of what might occur if Tasmania opened with no restrictions at all, as well as examples of living with increased restrictions, such as lockdowns and greater social distancing.
For example, if we had no mask wearing and no social restrictions, the modelling shows that Tasmania could expect up to 75,000 positive cases within six months, 636 people in hospital per day, 168 people in ICU and 214 deaths.
Premier Peter Gutwein said the state would not go down that pathway.
He said it had "levers" it could pull to manage and mitigate the impacts to Tasmania once borders re-open, such as more stringent social and public health restrictions like those seen in the first lockdowns mid-last year.
"The modelling looks at increasing public health restrictions to the levels that we had mid-last year, including greater social distancing, and greater restrictions on density and movement, through to lockdown scenarios, with each of the step-ups in restrictions reducing the numbers in hospitals, in our ICU's, and the mortality rate," Mr Gutwein said.
The modelling looks at increasing public health restrictions to the levels that we had mid-last year... through to lockdown scenarios, with each of the step-ups in restrictions reducing the numbers in hospitals, in our ICU's, and the mortality rate.- Premier Peter Gutwein
Public Health deputy director Scott McKeown said the modelling would help the state understand how COVID-19 transmission might occur in the state, and influence how the health system should be managed depending on the level of disease in the community.
"After the borders are open we will start seeing a number of cases come across the border, some we may pick up and some we may not. They will result gradually in slow transmission in the community," Dr McKeown said.
"Public Health will continue to contact trace, but as we start seeing larger number of cases our actual ability to identify all the contacts of the cases will become smaller...public health will be working at 100 per cent effort, but our ability to identify contacts might reduce."
He said when public health and social measures were increased, this would have an impact on reducing hospitalisations and ICU admissions
"So these scenarios tell us about the levers that we can pull to change the end outcome."
Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff assured Tasmanians that the health system had the capacity to manage COVID-19.
"COVID-19 will continue to present many challenges for Tasmanians and it would be very understandable and natural for Tasmanians to feel concerned, worried and uncertain about what living with COVID-19 in our community presents," Mr Rockliff said.
"We have done all we need as a state to suppress COVID-19, in great part due to the expertise and advice that we have received from Public Health and we are taking advice into opening and preparing the health system. We have invested heavily into what we need to manage an outbreak."
Public Health department secretary Kathrine Morgan-Wicks said there are 152 new beds across the entire health system.
Ms Morgan Wicks said this included 35 beds that are reserved for public patients, including 14 in the north and three in the north west.
She said there were 117 new beds across the entire system, including critical care beds, recovery ward beds, ICU beds, and an expansion of 24 new beds at the Launceston General Hospital.
Ms Morgan-Wicks added that "beds are nothing without staff", with the system having employed 655 full time staff in preparation, which is the "highest recruitment" in a single financial year.
"We know we will have people within the health system and within community that would like to have Tasmania stay closed, but I want to assure everyone that we have done all that we can do to prepare."
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