The Northern Territory has recorded another nine positive COVID-19 cases from the Katherine and Roper River outbreak, and all Territorians will have to wear masks outdoors until Monday at 6pm.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner told a press conference all those nine cases were Indigenous people in Katherine who were close household contacts with the two cases reported yesterday.
The people infected are a 71-year-old man, a 65-year-old woman who is Royal Darwin Hospital, a 62-year-old woman, a 40-year-old woman, a 38-year-old woman, a 22-year-old woman, a 16-year-old girl, and twin five-year-old girls.
Mr Gunner said he did not have vaccination information for those infected but they were all going into Howard Springs quarantine.
He said there were no new cases in Robinson River but they had undertaken 20 priority tests there and the results would be available on Wednesday. Mr Gunner said all residents would be tested over the next few days.
“We are under no illusion that the risk for Robinson River remains real,” he said.
Mr Gunner said COVID-19 vaccinations had been offered to everyone in the community.
He said there was no reason to lockdown Borroloola yet, and vaccinations had been taken to the town.
The Katherine lockdown has been extended until 6pm Monday.
And all Territorians will have to wear masks when outdoors except for doing vigorous exercise until Monday at 6pm.
“I feel for the people of Katherine, and Katherine businesses. We do not want to have to lock you down,” Mr Gunner said.
“You’ve done everything we’ve asked, and you’ve made sacrifices for every Territorian.
“We are doing everything we can today to test and trace.
“I thank everyone in Katherine who has been vaccinated.
“Please, we still have time for people to be vaccinated before COVID becomes a reality in your community. As the CHO said yesterday, as I have said before, you only have two choices; catch COVID vaxxed, or catch COVID un-vaxxed.”
Mr Gunner said Katherine’s vaccination rate increased the government could consider lockouts not lockdowns.
On Monday the NT recorded its first positive case of COVID-19 in a remote community, with two new positive cases reported – one in a 43-year-old vaccincated man from Katherine, and the other case in a unvaccinated 30-year-old woman who was also in the remote Indigenous community of Robinson River near Borroloola.
Mr Gunner said there was a significant gap between the outbreak in Katherine on November 4 and this latest one with the first positive test coming on November 13.
He said it meant the virus may have “seeded and moved” but he did not explain what this meant.
Mr Gunner said there would be COVID-19 wastewater testing in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine, and Darwin and positive results could lead to a lockdown or a lockout.
At midnight on November 4, Katherine went into lockdown and Darwin, Palmerston, and the rural area a lockout after a unvaccinated RAAF Tindal base contractor tested positive to COVID-19 in the community.
The man shared a house with five people in Katherine and also shared a house in Humpty Doo, a source had told the NT Independent.
The next day one of his close contacts was confirmed as having tested positive to COVID-19 in Katherine.
A 21-year-old woman from Cairns became the next person to test positive and was later identified as the source of the outbreak.
CLOSE CONTACTS KATHERINE
The Northern Territory Government is mandating that anyone who had been at these sites at these times self quarantine immediately and to call the COVID-19 hotline to arrange a test.
Captain Jack’s Fish’n’chips – November 15, 12pm to 12.35pm.
Wurli Wurlinjang Health Service (main clinic) 25 Third Street – November 15, 10am to 11.45am.
Kirby’s Katherine Hotel – November 10, 10am to 6pm and November 12, 12pm to 4.30pm.
Katherine Hospital – no specific time or date yet
MacFarlane Primary School – The chief minister asked parents to get all kids from that school tested.