Elective surgeries at the North West Regional Hospital will be cut from Friday as hospital services are reviewed due to a large number of workers being off due to COVID-19.
Health Department deputy secretary Dale Webster said there were 90 health workers unable to work due to having caught COVID while out in the community or having been identified as a close contact.
He said as a result, the hospital would move to a variation of a level three escalation response to COVID-19.
"This will ensure continuity of in-patient and emergency medical care," Mr Webster said.
"Outpatient and elective surgery activity will be reduced with outpatient services for urgent and category one patients to be moved to telehealth over the coming days.
"The hospital is implementing strategies to increase workforce capacity, including staff being asked to reconsider leave arrangements.
"These measures have been introduced as part of our preparations for a likely increase in COVID-19 cases in the community."
He said restrictions on visitation to the hospital only extended to unvaccinated visitors, but people should only visit the hospital if necessary.
Mr Webster said there were 188 health workers statewide who were active COVID-19 cases at present.
This figure includes workers who do not work in hospitals as well as paramedics.
Labor's health spokeswoman Anita Dow said a community case management facility in Burnie was still not operational as the government could not find the health workers to staff it.
"It defies belief that the government is still trying to recruit health staff for the facility," she said.
"Now that the North West Regional Hospital is at escalation level three with elective surgery and outpatient services cancelled, Mr Rockliff needs to explain how he will eventually staff this facility."
Mr Webster said capacity to staff the health system was a daily challenge during a pandemic.
"But we are confident that the services we need to run can be run," he said.
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