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Coronavirus Pandemic

Disability sector needs urgent clarification on testing and COVID safety

disabled woman with surgical mask looking out at window

Tasmanians living with a disability and workers in the disability sector need urgent clarification on how to get tested for COVID-19 and how to remain safe after being largely ignored by the Gutwein Government.

Shadow Disability Minister Jo Siejka said the disability sector was missing from government’s COVID plan as NDS Tasmania reports people living with a disability are having limited success accessing tests and positive cases among staff created further concern.

“It’s critical the government take steps to ensure some of our most vulnerable Tasmanians are able to get access to testing and remain safe,” Ms Siejka said.

“Tasmanians living with a disability and the staff who care for them have been largely forgotten by the government, not only with a lack of access to testing but with limited support available should their carers become sick.

“What is the government’s plan to ensure ongoing care in the event large numbers of workers return positive tests or need to enter isolation?

“What is the government’s plan to ensure Tasmanians living with a disability are able to access testing sites or be provided with Rapid Antigen Tests?

“This is a group of Tasmanians living with often extremely complex needs and the government needs to outline precisely how it has done the work to guarantee on-going care.

“And while everything possible must be done to protect our most vulnerable, it’s important that rules and requirements around the rapidly escalating COVID situation are easy to comply with.

“Labor is calling on the Gutwein Government to support those Tasmanians most at risk as part of our COVID-19 Response Framework for Tasmania.

“That includes ensuring transport is available to attend testing and booster appointments and providing plans to support students with disability.”

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