Local News

COVID: NT records three new cases, with viral fragments found in Katherine sewage

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Three new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the Northern Territory overnight, bringing the cluster to a total of 40 cases.

A baby from Robinson River is among those who have contracted the virus.

The child remains in a stable condition at the Royal Darwin Hospital.

The other cases are an unvaccinated Binjari woman in her 20’s and a man in his 40’s, who returned a positive result on his third test.

New information has also come to light about a positive case announced yesterday.

The man in his 60’s, who works for the Director of Public Prosecutions, likely contracted the virus from Katherine’s Captain Jack’s Fish and Chips, which is a casual and close contact exposure site.

Exposure sites

Katherine’s East Side Mini Mart on November 15 between 8.05am and 8.15am is a newly listed close contact site.

Fourteen new casual contact sites have also been added.

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Chief Minister Michael Gunner says Katherine Woolworths has struggled to stay open after being listed as a public exposure site several times.

He says efforts are underway to address that.

“We are now working with Woolies and other essential services on a testing protocol that allows them to continue to operate even while they are being listed as exposure sites.”

“We know we need our supermarkets open, we need our childcare centres open, they will stay open.”

Wastewater concerns

Fragments of the virus have again been detected in wastewater in Katherine’s Bicentennial Road and the Golf Club catchments.

Mr Gunner says they are expecting more positive cases.

“This indicates there continues to be positive cases in Katherine that are yet to be detected, testing continues to be crucial, please keep getting tested,” he says.

He says the restrictions in Katherine will remain in place until December 4.

“We will transition to a lockout at some point, [but] I cannot give you any more comfort on when that will be yet,” the Chief Minister says.

“I know this feels a bit never ending, but everyday we know more, with every test we know more, so keep doing what you are doing and we will get there.”

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Stranded Territorians

Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker says they are working on ways to assist people who have been caught up in the outbreak.

“We are aware that there are some…permanent residents of Darwin and Alice Springs that may have been caught in Katherine that are not bonafide essential workers.”

“We are looking at a model of whether we are going to be able to facilitate your return to home, we may go into seven days quarantine arrangements, similar to our home quarantine.”

He is encouraging those people to get a COVID test to speed up the process.

(Photo: Above - AAP image/Jodi Bilske)