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Three new COVID cases in Katherine as NT figures revised upwards

Three new COVID cases in Katherine as NT figures revised upwards

Katherine has three new cases of COVID-19 after the figure was revised upwards by two on the Northern Territory Chief Minister's Facebook site this afternoon.

Robinson River has recorded five in cases in figures released by the Territory's Chief Minister Michael Gunner today.

A 36-year-old Katherine man, whose vaccination status is not yet know and who was a household contact of other cases, is at Howard Springs, but may have been infectious in the community since November 7.

Two women aged 38 and 21 from Katherine who are both fully vaccinated and household contacts of other cases have also tested positive. Both are believed to have been infectious in the community and contact tracing has started to identify additional exposure sites.

The women have been taken to Howard Springs for quarantine and treatment.

The cases at Robinson River include a three week old baby girl, two men aged 29 and 23, a woman aged 21 and a girl aged 13.

All of the new cases are are Aboriginal Territorians.

It was originally reported that Katherine had only recorded a single new case overnight in this mornings press conference by Mr Gunner.

The number of COVID cases in the Territory now sits at 19 in the most recent cluster. Possible links to a previous Katherine cluster are still being investigated, with genomic testing results expected on Thursday.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said that contact tracing in Katherine had been hampered by non-legible sign-ins, singling out the Kirby's Pub exposure site where 66 close contacts had so far been found.

"This means that instead of using our time to get in contact with close contacts and organising testing, contact tracers have to use that time to go through CCTV, identify everyone who walked into Kirby's Pub," he said.

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"We touched on this last time. There is a CHO direction to make sure you are checking in."

Mr Gunner stressed that businesses have a legal obligation to make sure that people are checking in correctly.

"Please make sure that everybody everyone who enters your premises checks in and their details can be used," he said.

Contact tracing work at the MacFarlane Primary School in Katherine, which was identified as an exposure site on Tuesday, is ongoing.

"We are continuing to work on the details regarding the exposure site. But our update is that the positive case was a tutor, and there are three identified close contacts. All adults. No children at this stage," Mr Gunner said.

"The school will be closed, however, we will make arrangements for those kids attending school tomorrow.

"I ask anyone who is involved with the McFarlane Primary School to get tested."

In total there are 234 close contacts who have been identified from the Katherine and Robinson River cases.

Mr Gunner said that they could not yet rule out COVID having "spread further into the Katherine and Robinson River communities" or the Territory.

As a result, anybody who has left Katherine since November 7 or Robinson River since November 11 has been told to get tested whether they are symptomatic or not.

Mr Gunner apologised to Katherine for a testing facility shutting on Tuesday night when people were still waiting to be tested.

"I'm sorry about that," he said.

"We have now made sure that it is clear that testing stays open past 6.30pm if there are people there to be tested. It will not happen again."

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This story Three new COVID cases in Katherine as NT figures revised upwards first appeared on Katherine Times.