Over a quarter of all tests in Tasmania are being returned positive. The Apple Isle recorded 404 positive results from 1,542 tests in the 24 hours to Sunday 2 January, a 26.2% positive rate.
Just as in other states, the positive rate has become more meaningful than the case total, given the difficulty in obtaining a test. Tasmanian media was reporting hours-long waits at testing centres over the weekend, with people needing answers being turned away from mid-morning.
The Mercury highlighted the story of a French woman who needed a PCR test to travel home to visit a dying parent. She spent six hours alone in the queue without food or water.
In the Northern Territory, 24% of PCR tests came back positive on Sunday. There were 95 positives out of 394 tests.
Queensland reported an approximately 10.5% positive test rate. There were 3,587 confirmed positive cases on Sunday. South Australia is in a similar situation, with 10.8% of tests coming back positive on Sunday, making 2,298 confirmed cases.
Western Australia is currently the only state or territory being spared the omicron wave. The state health department is continuing to report a smattering of positive cases in returned travellers, and identified a positive case in a hotel quarantine security guard on Sunday.
Meanwhile, testing centres in NSW are witnessing scenes reminiscent of a natural disaster. The mid-North Coast saw people sleeping in their cars after arriving at 9pm the night before.
The NSW health minister blamed the delays on Queensland’s requirement that travellers have a negative result from a PCR test. A QLD government spokesperson retorted that travel to Queensland accounted for just 10% of tests being conducted in NSW.
State and territory health ministers requested “crisis funding” from the federal government at the end of September in advance of easing restrictions. The PM told them no, and that they should look to NSW and Victoria, who were “dealing with it.”
“They’ve got to obviously set their priorities,” said Morrison. “If they need to increase funding there from their own, they’re in the same position to borrow money as the federal government.”
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