The Northern Territory is registering three new COVID cases, including an infant in the hospital

The Northern Territory has registered three new local cases of COVID-19 overnight, said Prime Minister Michael Gunner.

All are close contacts to known cases, and one is an infant from Robinson River.

The other two cases are a man in his 40s who received one vaccine dose and identified as close contact, and an unvaccinated woman in her 20s.

The territory’s cluster now stands at 40 cases.

Acting Chief Health Officer Charles Pain said the infant was in the hospital in a stable condition.

He said the woman in her 20s was in the Center for National Resilience and has “significant respiratory symptoms, but she does not need hospitalization.”

The man in his 40s tested negative twice before returning a positive test yesterday, he said.

There are a total of five COVID patients receiving treatment at the Royal Darwin Hospital, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.

They include a 65-year-old stable aboriginal woman, the infant, two men in their 40s who are receiving oxygen, and a 78-year-old aboriginal woman who is not receiving oxygen.

Sir. Gunner said 1,149 COVID tests were performed on Katherine yesterday, and the communities in hard lockdown now have full first-dose vaccination coverage.

“We are convinced that all residents of Warlpiri Camp have now been tested,” Mr Gunner said.

“We are now convinced that all residents of Rockhole and Warlpiri Camp and Binjari, I think, have now received their first dose of the vaccine.”

All test results from Rockhole have so far come back negative.

A shop facade with a closed metal door over the doors.
One of the cases that was confirmed positive yesterday is believed to be a close contact from a fish and chip shop that was listed as an exposure site last week.(ABC News: Jesse Thompson)

‘Testing continues to be crucial’

Sir. Gunner said one of the local cases identified yesterday, a man in his 60s, is believed to be a close contact from Captain Jack Fish and Chips’ place of exposure.

“He works for the director of public prosecutor – he works in our courts,” he said.

The Bicentennial Road catchment area continues to provide positive wastewater results, and the Katherine Golf Course catchment area has returned a positive wastewater result from Saturday.

“This indicates that there are still positive cases in Katherine that have not yet been discovered,” said Mr. Gunner.

The close contact numbers now stand at 460. Of these, 453 are located and isolated.

These contacts have so far yielded 406 negative results.

Exterior of the Katherine courthouse.
Contact tracing is underway after confirmation that a positive case worked at the Katherine courthouse.(ABC News: Hamish Harty)

The list of places of close contact now includes the Eastside Mini Mart on Monday 15 November between 8.05 and 8.15.

Fourteen casual contact pages spread across Katherine have been added overnight.

The full list of current NT public exposure sites can be found at NT Government website for coronavirus.

Katherine lockdown to continue beyond tomorrow’s deadline at

Katherine will have to be in some sort of lockdown or lockout until December 4, Mr Gunner said.

“That does not mean the whole period will be locked down,” he said.

“We will move on to a lockout at some point. I can not give you more comfort with when it will be.”

NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said authorities hoped the shutdown could be lifted when Katherine’s double-dose vaccination rate reached 80 percent, though that could not be guaranteed.

Katherine’s current vaccination rate is 77 percent.

“The worrying thing is that the wastewater [is staying] persistent and now with the golf course that has come on board, “said Commissioner Chalker.

“What we’m quite comfortable with, though, is that the amount of testing that comes through, [the number of] people coming forward, the fact that the shutdown is in place – hopefully when Katherine reaches 80 percent, we should at least be through this and have negative results throughout the wastewater.

“That’s definitely what we’re working towards.”

He said there were plans to help Darwin or Alice Springs residents, who had been caught in the Katherine lockdown, return home.

He urged these people to get a COVID test right away.

Reports of strong compliance in Katherine and surrounding areas

Commissioner Chalker said people in cordoned off areas had been “really in agreement”.

“We have had the Australian Defense Forces mobilized … so we are very grateful for that support,” he said.

“And it will definitely make our ability to respond more broadly to ensure that people are compatible within the Katherine area.”

In an unrelated incident this morning, Commissioner Chalker said a man at the Coolalinga vaccination center in Darwin pushed the hands of a health worker away, “grabbed the needle and sprayed himself with the vaccine”.

“It is not appropriate behavior,” he said, adding that the man has been fined by police.

“Again, the vaccination staff is there to help you, they should not be subjected to that type of behavior. It just can not be tolerated.”

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