The Northern Territory has registered a new local case of COVID-19 overnight, says Prime Minister Michael Gunner.
The territory’s cluster now stands at 52 cases.
The new case is a teenager from Binjari who was previously identified as a close contact and was transferred to the Center for National Resilience, where he tested positive.
“It’s unlikely he was contagious in society,” Mr Gunner said.
“This shows us that the hard shutdown is working and that caring for close quarantined contacts is working.”
He said the Bicentennial Road catchment in Katherine East continued to yield COVID-positive wastewater results, although the strength was weaker.
“The wastewater results for this catchment area will be critical for tomorrow,” he said, adding that the Martin Place sub-catchment yielded positive results and authorities were working to explain it.
The Rockhole wastewater was negative again and all tests had come back negative, Mr Gunner said.
“For this reason, Rockhole will go from a hard lockdown back to a regular lockdown today at noon,” he said.
“That means Rockhole residents are still locked up but can leave the home for one of five reasons.
“Rockhole residents are under no circumstances allowed to enter the Binjari community.”
3,020 tests were processed in the territory within the last 24 hours, including 27 tests performed in the apartment block where the COVID-positive woman from Binjari visited yesterday.
There’s a new place of close contact: the Shell Coles Express on the Katherine motorway on Monday 23 November between 16:50 and 17:05.
Mr. Gunner encouraged people to use QR code check-ins at all venues.
“Not checking in slows down the contact traces, which slows down our efforts to track and track the virus, potentially slowing the transition out of lockdown,” Mr Gunner said.
The Salvation Army store in Katherine has been upgraded from a casual contact page to a close contact page.
Anyone who visited the store on Saturday, November 13 between 6 p.m. 10.30 and 10.50, should be tested and isolated until they give a negative test result.
The number of close contacts was now at 506, Mr Gunner said.
Of these, 482 have been located and isolate. These contacts have so far yielded 453 negative results.
After providing the case numbers and updates to the exposure page, Mr Gunner said he wanted to address “the huge amount of misinformation that has been spread online over the last few days.”
“Hello to all conspiracy theorists abroad who see this. Get a life.
“There are ridiculous, untrue rumors about the involvement of the ADF. As we all know, they do not carry weapons – they carry fresh food for people.
“So I urge people not to worry about the crazy, unreleased stuff that is spreading online.”
He said most of the misinformation online was spread by “plush outside the territory – mostly America, Canada and Britain – people who have nothing better to do than invent lies about us because their own lives are so small and so sad. “
He referred to a statement issued by Binjari and Rockhole residents yesterday, who said the hard shutdown was necessary while they were in the struggle of their lives.
“We all know what it is: we are trying to protect the oldest continuous living culture on the planet,” he said.
“We have tens of thousands of years of history, history, traditions and songs to keep alive.
“And if anyone thinks we’ll be distracted or intimidated by tinfoil-wearing lunatics sitting in their parents’ basements in Florida, you do not know us Territories.”
Acting Chief Health Officer Charles Pain said today was “clearly a positive day”.
“We already have a new case in quarantine, which has been an identified contact,” he said.
“What this demonstrates … is a huge effort to contact trace and identify individuals, and so with our widespread testing we have not gathered anyone outside who has not already been identified as a contact.”
He said two people remained in the hospital, one of whom was expected to be discharged today.
One of them is a patient in his 70s who still needs hospital treatment, he said.
NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker thanked the Rockhole community for following the COVID instructions, saying people in Binjari had been “extraordinary for the last 24 hours” as police went and knocked on doors from house to house.
He said efforts were being made to help residents quarantine the Country and that police had developed a stronger border around Binjari to ensure people stayed there.
“We can not get people to continue to leave, which then puts the Binjari people in a further lockdown period,” he said.
Commissioner Chalker said a major storm in the Robinson River had affected telecommunications and delayed plans to conduct further wastewater tests in the area.
He said police would visit every house in the community to make sure residents knew what was going on.
So far, 40 people have applied to return to Darwin and Alice Springs from the Katherine lockdown, he said.
Police would help transfer these people home, as well as help interstate tourists trapped in caravans in Katherine return to their home states.
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