Second COVID case confirmed in Katherine as contact tracing continues

by | Nov 5, 2021 | COVID-19 | 0 comments

Another positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Katherine, a close contact of the unvaccinated RAAF Tindal base contractor who tested positive Thursday, Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced, adding that the next few days will require “a hell of a lot of cooperation” from Territorians.

The person is a household contact of the man who tested positive yesterday, as the NT Independent reported last night, who was symptomatic.

The original case shared a house with five people in Katherine and he also shared a house in Humpty Doo.

The source of his infection is still unknown.

Mr Gunner said health officials continue to conduct contract tracing. As of today, 75 close contacts have been identified as Katherine and Greater Darwin enter into the first full day of lockdown and lockout restrictions.

The latest COVID patient will be transported by CareFlight to the Howard Springs quarantine facility today, the government said in a statement.

It is not known if the additional person infected with coronavirus had been vaccinated.

The four other household contacts from Katherine have all been tested, returned negative results and are also being transported to Howard Springs to undertake 14 days quarantine, the NT Government said.

Three additional household contacts in Humpty Doo have been contacted, are undertaking 14 days of quarantine with testing results known on Friday.

Mr Gunner said people who have visited public exposure sites in Greater Darwin and Katherine must ensure they are isolating and getting tested.

Of the 75 close contacts, 48 have been contacted and are currently undergoing 14 days of quarantine.

Of the remaining close contacts, 27 are linked to the Katherine Club.

Mr Gunner said NT Police are working with the RAAF Tindal base contractor to confirm details about his movements prior to and during his infectious period to help identify the source of infection.

Public exposure sites will continue to be updated as more information becomes available, he added.

“It is important all people in the NT continue to check the COVID-19 website to review the list of NT public exposure sites,” Mr Gunner said.

“If you have been to a public exposure site or if you have symptoms, you need to get tested and follow the applicable public health advice.”

Fully vaccinated workers will be going to work as normal and unvaccinated essential workers can go to work, he added, after reports of confusion and a lack of essential workers reporting for duty on Friday morning, the NT Independent understands.

Businesses will be required to check their customers’ and visitors’ vaccination status.

“I want to be really clear – we are not interested in enforcing this against businesses right now. We are asking you to help us,” Mr Gunner said.

Updates on testing sites

NT Health is urging Territorians to book COVID-19 test online at https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/stay-safe/symptoms-testing

The Katherine drive-through testing site is open until 6:30pm today and bookings are preferred. Opening hours for the weekend are from 8:30am to 6:30pm.

The Marrara drive-through testing site in Darwin is expected to open at 1:30pm today. Bookings are also preferred.

Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Charles Pain reminded the public that when attending the drive-through testing sites, please ensure you wear a mask, stay in your car, and bring photo ID and your Medicare card.

Dr Pain says Territorians in the lockdown or lockout areas are not allowed to travel, including out of the NT, unless it is for one of the essential reasons.

Non-Territorians are meanwhile permitted to leave the NT.

Dr Pain has reiterated calling for Territorians to get vaccinated and tested if necessary.

“It is critical all Territorians get the COVID-19 vaccine.”

“Our systems will be stressed but we’re prepared for that,” he said.

“Please come forward if you’re symptomatic to get tested.”

“Vaccine appointments are available at NT Vaccination Centres, GP Clinics, Respiratory Clinics and Aboriginal Health Clinics. You can book online or call the COVID-19 Hotline 24 hours per day, seven days a week, on 1800 490 484,” NT Health said in a statement.

For more information visit www.coronavirus.nt.gov.au

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