A blunder has resulted in text messages sent to nearly 3,000 Australians, some with Covid and their close contacts, incorrectly telling them they can leave isolation immediately.
The text messages sent at 11.40am Tuesday and which linked to a Tasmania Department of Health webpage advised people they could ‘now leave isolation and return to normal activities’ as long as they no longer had symptoms.
Tasmania Public Health confirmed the texts were sent to 2823 people mid-way through a week long isolation period and that a follow up message apologising for the mistake was sent 20 minutes later.
Text messages were incorrectly sent to almost 3,000 Australians telling them they could leave isolation (file image)
The original texts told recipients they ‘can show this letter to your employer or educational facility if you need to provide evidence that you have completed your isolation requirement and that you are now able return to work/education’.
The second message – which was attributed to Tasmania’s deputy public health director Julie Graham – then said to ‘disregard the prior message for your release (from) quarantine’.
‘Apologies, it was due to technical issues. Public Health will send your release from isolation letter in the next few days,’ the message said.
A Health Department spokesperson said they expected the public health risk of the blunder was ‘minimal’ because Tasmania is largely vaccinated and the second message was sent out quickly.