A third person has been diagnosed with the coronavirus in Tasmania, hours after it was announced the city's music and arts festival Dark Mofo will not go ahead due to the potential impact of the disease.
Director of Public Health Mark Veitch announced on Wednesday night a patient has been admitted to the Royal Hobart Hospital with COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the state to three.
Two others remain in isolation after contracting the virus: a student in his 20s who tested positive late on Saturday and a 40-year-old man who tested positive in Launceston last week.
It comes after festival organiser and art collector David Walsh announced he was "killing Dark Mofo for the year" due to fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus.
"I know that will murder an already massacred tourism environment, but I feel like I have no choice," he wrote in a statement on Facebook.
Mr Walsh said it wasn't worth risking millions of dollars to proceed with the 12-day event.
"Right now, the government and MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) are each on the hook for $2 million to run Dark Mofo. That's bad," he said.
"I'd rather be a rich coward than a poor hero. I'm pouring cold water on Dark Mofo while there's still water to pour."
The festival's creative director Leigh Carmichael told ABC Radio that Dark Mofo directly pumped between $10 million and $11 million into the state's economy.
He said sold-out performances by American band Bon Iver would still go ahead on June 12 and 13, subject to further government advice.
In a statement, Tasmanian Prime Minister Peter Gutwein recognised it was a difficult decision for MONA.
"Dark Mofo has quickly become known as a cultural icon following its inception in 2013, and we know this decision has been made in the best interests of the festival's viability," he said.
Destination Southern Tasmania CEO Alex Heroys also noted the ongoing sustainability of the festival was paramount.
"Short term pain for long term gain, we believe, is the right strategy," he said in a statement.
Labor leader Rebecca White suggested the government implement short-term stimulus measures to counter the widespread impact of coronavirus on the economy.
Australian Associated Press