The use of rapid antigen tests is expected to increase despite the tests producing false-positive results.
Speaking on Monday afternoon, Premier Peter Gutwein said increasing the use of rapid antigen testing kits was being considered to reduce the pressure on COVID testing facilities.
Mr Gutwein said PCR testing demand had increased, with more than 16,000 tests undertaken in the last week.
State Public Health Director Dr Mark Veitch said the government was considering three key areas where the tests could be utilised.
Dr Veitch said tests - two or three times a week - for people working in high-risk settings like hospitals, age care and the disability sector was under consideration.
He said close contacts undergoing a series of tests while they were in quarantine was also an option.
"We could give them a RAT rather than going through the PCR test process," he said.
The third area would focus on people unable to access a PCR test due to time or distance restraints.
"If people can't get a timely PCR test, if it's going to be a delay until you get a PCR test it may be reasonable for people to go and get a RAT test," he said.
"If it's negative, monitor your symptoms and if your symptoms persist, either go and get another RAT or PCR.
Dr Veitch said while RAT tests would increase in use the accuracy of the tests was still an issue, and all positive results would need to be confirmed through a PCR test at a COVID clinic
"One of the shortcomings of RAT tests is that they are not quite as sensitive as PCR tests and we've seen a number of people come into Tasmania with a negative RAT," he said.
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Mr Gutwein said the pressure on PCR testing in other jurisdictions had prompted a conversation within the government about the use of the tests for interstate travel.
The Premier said advice was being sought with updates to follow later in the week, but advised a PCR test 72 hours in advance was still the requirement.
Andrew Chounding is The Examiners Health Reporter, if you have a health-related story please email Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org
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