- Two new Covid-19 cases recorded, public exposure sites in Palmerston identified
- ‘CAN I GO FISHING IN LOCKDOWN?’ No, and people who do can get fined
HEALTH authorities are pleading for the public to monitor the Top End’s growing list of Covid-19 exposure sites, after two more locally acquired cases were reported on Tuesday.
The new infections were the wife and daughter of a man who tested positive for Covid-19 in Palmerston after travelling from the Tanami gold mine.
A pop-up Zumba class held between 9am and 9.30am on Saturday at the Palmerston Recreation Centre has been deemed a ‘high risk’ exposure site, with anyone present required to isolate for 14 days.
MORE TOP NEWS
Within Gateway Shopping Centre in Palmerston, Woolworths, Rockman’s, Big W, Hoskings Jewellers, Pharmacy 4 Less and the underground car park have been deemed ‘medium-risk’ between 11am and 2pm on Saturday, with anyone who was in those locations to get a test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
The flea market in Palmerston between 7.45am and 8.45am, and again from 9.30am to 9.45am, as well as the female public toilet at 1 Chung Wah Tce, have also been deemed ‘medium risk’.
The entire shopping centre has been deemed a ‘low-risk’ venue, with visitors between 11am and 2pm on Saturday instructed to get tested if they develop symptoms.
All those venues were visited by the woman and her daughter but Chief Minister Michael Gunner said it was not yet clear whether the pair had become infectious by Saturday.
“Given this is the Delta strain, we are not going to take any chances,” Mr Gunner said.
Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan says nearby remote regional communities have been given “strong advice” by health services to stay home amid the lockdown in Darwin, Litchfield and Palmerston. “Our community works under the chief medical officer’s directions, and … we’re not under lockdown but Alice Springs is surrounded by about 260 remote regional communities,” he said. “A lot of those have been given very strong advice by health series here in Central Australia to stay at home. “It is a busy time of year with the annual show this weekend, Territory Day celebrations which have been put on hold on the 1st, but it’s about communicating to people in remote areas.” Mr Ryan told Sky News regional councils, health officials and the Northern Territory police have been working to ensure health advice is communicated to remote communities.
The Top End’s three cases stem from an outbreak at the Newmont Corporation Granites Gold Mine in the Tanami Desert that has spread across borders.
More than 700 people were exposed to a man infected with the Delta variant at the Tanami mine, with 259 of them who remained in the Territory having all tested negative as of Tuesday and remaining in isolation.
Contact tracers are still scrambling to track down the 29 remaining people who attended the Buff Club in Stuart Park on Friday evening.
The NT’s second confirmed case from the gold mine outbreak was diagnosed on Monday after being at the Buff Club in Stuart Park on Friday between 3.30pm and 8pm.
Chief health officer Hugh Heggie said the Territory was in a “state of emergency” as it grappled to get the outbreak under control.
“I appeal to everybody to keep updating the Covid website for any new exposure sites,” Dr Heggie said.
The public are also being urged to continue wearing masks and check in using the Territory app as much as possible.
Residents outside of Greater Darwin are also being urged to limit non-essential travel and avoid large gatherings.
Dr Heggie acknowledged the five-day lockdown, due to end on Friday, would hurt businesses but said limiting movement would prevent a bigger outbreak.
“The purpose of this lockdown is actually to stop the spread in Darwin and its regions,” he said.
“Outside of Darwin, I strongly recommend people do not travel at the moment (or) attend large gatherings.”
Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said officers would begin issuing penalties for those caught without a mask or not adhering to lockdown rules. “We haven’t issued any infringements at this time, there’s a couple of people who’ve come close,” Mr Chalker said.
“That being said, our patience will only last so long, so if someone is going to be deliberately belligerent in respects of understanding the enormity of what this risk poses and being non-compliant, we’ll take action.”
Changes to lockdown measures have been made to ensure essential workers who reside outside of the lockdown area are allowed to travel into the Darwin, Litchfield and Palmerson local government areas.
Originally published as Exposure sites spread to Palmerston as Top End cases rise