No new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Northern Territory over the last 24 hours, the government says, as massive testing across the Greater Darwin area continues.
Nine additional close contacts who were at the Buff Club last Friday, where a man in his 50s had visited while believed to be infectious, have been traced by NT authorities totaling 179 people identified as being at risk of infection.
However, Chief Minister Michael Gunner said there were eight people who have not been identified as “directly isolating”.
“We are currently at eight people who we have not identified as directly isolating, as a result of being at the Buff Club and police are on to tracking down those eight people,” he said at the press briefing this morning.
“They should obviously be staying home at the moment under our current general lockdown orders but we’re closing the loop on those eight.”
Mr Gunner said all test results so far for the Buff Club people have come back negative, but appeared to be unsure.
“There were some still pending, but in the system, but all back negative so far,” he said. “My understanding [is] tested and pending.
“So my understanding is that there are a number who have tested, gone through the system, come back as a negative. And there’s also an amount that are appearing in the system where you don’t have the result for yet, and there are eight who are tracking down to isolate.”
He also added that another person identified from the seven high-risk contacts of the 50-year-old infected man – has tested negative.
He said all seven high-risk contacts had tested negative and are mandated to isolate at the Howard Springs quarantine facility for two weeks.
However, experience with the Delta variant has shown that positive tests could come back a week after a person is infected.
Mr Gunner also reported that there were 2,600 Territorians who have been tested for COVID-19 as of yesterday from various NT testing sites.
“We’ve already got more than 2,400 tests back and all, a negative, which is a great sign at the Marrara drive-through COVID-19 Testing Clinic alone, there are more than 2,000 tests done,” Mr Gunner said.
Meanwhile, 700 mine workers are under quarantine at the Newmont Tanami gold mine site that is the epicentre of the recent outbreak that has also seen workers test positive interstate.
New vaccine clinic to be opened next week
A mass vaccination clinic in Darwin is set to open to the public on Monday to accommodate more vaccine eligible Territorians, as the Northern Territory attempts to contain further spread of the highly-infectious Delta strain, NT Health authorities said.
The Darwin COVID-19 Vaccination Centre (DCVC) will be set up at the Italian Club at 131 Abala Road, Marrara from July 5.
NT Health said medical personnel at the DCVC site will vaccinate people based on Pfizer vaccine supply and bookings can now be made online. They said the centre will be open extended hours including during the weekends but did not specify the time on its media release.
Priority for DCVC appointments will be given to eligible Territorians based on the medical advice from the Public Health Advisory Group.
These include indigenous Australians; people over the age of 40 – 59-years-old, people who meet the Phase 1A and 1B criteria – including those aged 16-39 years with a medical condition, plus health, quarantine, aged care, disability, high risk industry and border workers; and people with an exemption to travel overseas.
The Public Health Advisory Group said they will continue to review this prioritisation before opening to more people in the Greater Darwin region.
Health Minister Natasha Fyles said more Pfizer supplies are set to arrive in the NT in July and will be distributed to seven Darwin GP clinics.
People aged 16-39 years will be able to access the vaccination through these GP clinics.