Premier Peter Gutwein is assuring Tasmanians that supplies of rapid antigen tests are adequate, and wants the community to avoid hoarding behaviours.
His assurances come as the government prioritise polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for anyone who is a close contact, who is symptomatic, or for anyone who has already received a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) result.
As testing lists rise the state government will also be providing free RAT tests from set locations in the south, but not the north, that has been decided based on testing pressures.
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Premier Peter Gutwein said they currently had 500,000 RAT tests, and had two million more ordered which are expected to arrive over January to provide to those who needed it.
"There is significant demand on testing. It is occurring right around the country. I don't think we have hit the heights of other states, but it is important that we prioritise our PCR testing for those that are symptomatic, and for those who have already taken a rapid antigen test with a positive result," he said.
"We want to ensure how we provide PCR testing for those that need the analysis and outcome to understand what their care needs may be. To ensure this happens we will be making RAT tests freely available for those that require them under our testing rules."
He said there were two locations in the south - Rokeby and Glenorchy - where free RAT tests would be provided, but added that people should not just turn up at these locations.
"I want to make this perfectly clear.. health will prioritise who is eligible for a RAT test and we will contact those people directly and arrange for them to turn up and receive their test a the locations that are being established."
As lists for testings grow, some two-thirds of the people on those lists are asymptomatic.
So anyone on those lists of higher need for testing will be contacted.
Mr Gutwein said the national supply chain of RAT tests had been looked at and there will be "no shortage of supply".
"My understanding is that as we move forward through January there will be no shortage of supply, either with state provided RAT tests or those provided through other outlets, whether that is through pharmacy or supermarkets," he said.
"Rapid antigen tests should not become the new toilet paper hoarding. We saw that happen before. There will be plenty of tests, and the state will make them available to those that need them."
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