Northern Territory registers eight new COVID-19 cases in a remote community of indigenous peoples in Katherine and Robinson River

They are all indigenous, including three in the remote indigenous community of Katherine and five in the Robinson River. All are close contacts from previously identified cases.

This raises the current Katherine-Robinson River cluster to 19 infections during the closure of both areas.

Michael Gunner
NT Prime Minister Michael Gunner said there are about 66 close contacts from one exposure site, Kirby’s Pub Katherine. (9 News)

Health authorities still do not have a well-established link between the first cluster in the Territory earlier this month and the current cluster.

“This [a link] is still the most likely explanation, but we will continue to investigate, “NT Prime Minister Michael Gunner said.

“The genome result is tomorrow.”

Among the new cases is a 36-year-old Katherine man who was in home contact with previous cases.

He was already in a supervised quarantine facility at the National Resilience Center in Howard Springs, but he could be contagious in the community.

The liaison officers will try to identify if other exposure points are associated with the man.

Gunner said authorities do not know the man’s vaccination status.

All five Robinson River cases are close or family contacts.

Among them are a 29-year-old man, a 23-year-old man, a 21-year-old woman, a 13-year-old woman and a three-week-old baby.

Gunner confirmed two new cases after the COVID-19 press conference, two 38-year-old and 21-year-old women.

They have all been flown to the National Resilience Center.

“We know how quickly Delta can spread in households, and we can’t yet be sure it hasn’t spread further into the Robinson River and Katherine communities or the wider area,” Gunner said.

See health director Charles Pain said one case is being treated at a hospital.

The person needs oxygen, but he is not in the intensive care unit.

Katherine lock
Eight new cases of COVID-19 have been registered in the Northern Territory, three of which are Katherine. (Krystle Wright)

Dr. Pain encouraged residents to test and take the vaccination, acknowledging that the health care system in the area is “already under pressure.”

“We need your help to prevent you from being hospitalized,” Dr. Pain said.

“Our system tends to drown if we can’t protect people.”

New demo sites have been announced and all information is available at NT Health website.

Health authorities also announced an additional precautionary measure as they try to get ahead of the new cluster.

Authorities are asking everyone who has been in the Robinson River since Nov. 11 to test for symptoms or not. They have to isolate until they get a negative result.

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Health officials are also asking everyone who has been in Katherine since November 7 to do the same.

Gunner said there are about 66 close contacts from one of the previously reported exposure sites, Kirby’s Pub Katherine.

However, contact trackers do not intend to effectively capture everyone due to unreadable handwriting of login lists.

Gunner said contact trackers now need to spend more time contacting the company and checking CCTV.

He stressed the importance of logging in and filling out the login forms correctly.

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