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Tas virus hospital deep clean 'complex'

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Tasmania hopes to soon reopen the emergency department at one of two northwest hospitals being deep-cleaned by specialist teams following a COVID-19 outbreak.

The North West Regional Hospital and North West Private Hospital at Burnie were shut on Monday morning to undergo the unprecedented clean.

More than 80 of the state's 169 COVID-19 cases are directly linked to an outbreak at the facilities, with 56 workers among them.

Health Minister Sarah Courtney said she anticipated emergency department services would resume on Friday.

"We have got experts on the ground working incredibly long hours to make sure this clean is done properly," she said.

"It is a very complex process, we need to make sure that each stage of the clean is verified.

"We need to ensure that when we open it, it is safe for our teams going in there as well as our patients."

Australian Defence Force medicos and an AUSMAT team, usually reserved for international humanitarian relief, landed on Tuesday to help with the clean and provide services.

Colonel David Hughes said it was the first time he knew of ADF and AUSMAT being used in such a way domestically.

The emergency department is being cleaned first, but there is no clear timeline for how long it will take to finish both hospitals.

"The cleaning will unfortunately take as long as it takes. It is important that it is done correctly," Colonel Hughes said.

The state government has begun a testing blitz in the northwest and is bringing in extra laboratory technology to boost the region's capacity to 500 tests per day.

Anyone with symptoms is being urged to contact the public health hotline or their GP and get tested.

Five of the state's six coronavirus deaths have been at northwest hospitals, including four at the now-closed North West Regional Hospital.

Four new virus cases were confirmed in the northwest on Wednesday night - three hospital workers and one patient. Overall, 67 people have recovered.

More than 1200 staff from the hospitals, plus their families, are undergoing a fortnight in quarantine.

Police, meanwhile, have charged seven people who attended an Easter Sunday party at home in the northeast town of Winnaleah.

"Hosting a gathering during a public health emergency is a blatant and deliberate breach of the directions of the Director of Public Health," Acting Commander Michael Johnston said.

"It is vital that everyone, including those in more remote communities, are complying with the directions."

© AAP 2020

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