Darwin’s snap lockdown has been extended until Friday after the Chief Minister announced a growing list of exposure venues and hundreds of close contacts forced into isolation.
NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner confirmed the development in a press conference on Monday afternoon the Darwin, Litchfield and Palmerston councils were plunged into a 48-hour circuit-breaker lockdown from 1pm Sunday.
‘First, I thank Territorians for the extraordinary response throughout the top and yesterday. I know the lockdown came as a shock,’ Gunner said.
‘I know we didn’t give you much notice. There was a good reason given the risk, we couldn’t afford to wait hours before acting. We did an incredible job staying home, masking up, getting on with it. Thank you.
‘We have spent the morning reviewing all information that has come in overnight.
Darwin’s Covid lockdown is extended until Friday after Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced a growing list of exposure venues and hundreds of close contacts forced into isolation
The lockdown in the NT was extended until Friday after Darwin, Litchfield and Palmerston councils were plunged into a 48-hour circuit-breaker lockdown from 1pm Sunday
‘Based on the information, we have made the decision that we need to extend the lockdown for a further 72 hours. That means for Darwin Palms and rural areas, the lockdown is extended to 1pm on Friday.
‘It is absolutely necessary stop the reality is we are not out of the woods yet. Not by a long way. The risk to the community has grown in the past 24 hours. We are now in an extremely critical period. We must stay lockdown while we keep this virus trap.
Since the last update on Sunday, we have confirmed one new positive case of Covid-19 in the territory. It is just one case. That is the good news.
‘What greatly concerns us is the potential for exposure to others. I will get to that shortly. This is a seventh case for that total my outbreaks, the test detected overnight. There is a downward man in his 50s who left the mine site on Friday the 25th. He has a close contact of an earlier case.
‘The local positive case we gave details of on Sunday. He was contacted by authorities on the 26th and transferred to Howard Springs that night. He was in the down committee on infectious for about 36 hours.
‘His time in a community included an extended period of close contact with seven friends, mainly at a private residence. Those seven people are now being transferred to Howard Springs isolation and testing and considered high risk contacts.
‘I’ll go through this individual’s movements and this is very, very important. For the first time, we do have public exposure site in the Northern Territory.
‘There are three tiers for exposure sites. Close contact sites, casual contact sites, low-risk sites. There is one public close contact exposure site. This makes it a high-risk location. This is the migratory on the Stuart Highway, Darwin. Anywhere between 5:30pm and 8pm on 25 June is now required isolate at their home for the next 14 days. And get tested.
‘Everyone in your household is also required isolate for 14 days. Let me repeat that. If you are a close contact for the Buff Club site or a household of a close contact, you are under a stay-at-home order for the next 14 days. That is absolutely 14 days at home.
‘If you are home is not suitable for isolation for that 14 days, you’ll be transferred to the scent of a national resilience your isolation period stop we are now doing the work with the Buff Club to contact everyone there using the Territory Check In app and the club’s own attendance membership records to make sure everyone is aware of their obligations and arrange for the testing.
‘Once we have a firm idea of numbers we report them to you but right now we believe there will be as many as 150 close contact from the site. I want to confirm the 14 days. You stay at home for 14 days. The five reasons for leaving your house are not available to you. You must stay in your residence for 14 days.
‘To the second tier sites. The casual contact exposure sites. There are two. The first casual contact site is the BWS store on the Pratt load and Pratt. The relevant period is Friday 25 June between 4pm and 4:10pm. The man did not leave his car.
Your on-site during the period, you are required to immediately isolate and get tested and stay isolated until you return it to — a negative test. The second casual contact site is the budding store on Bogut Road, Saturday 26 June between 10am and 10:15am.
‘Again, if your on-site during this period, you are required to immediately isolate and get tested until you return a negative Test.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner (right) during a tour of the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility in Darwin back in April
‘Finally, there is one low risk exposure site. That is the Darwin Airport. This related positive case detected in Queensland yesterday who came from the mine. She arrived on the charter flight Friday 25th. Unlike the other positive cases, she did spend extended period of time inside the airport.
‘But she stayed inside the airport, did not go into the community. Her viral load was considered low during this time and she wore a mask while in the airport as required. She was in the able between 1:30pm and 335 pm on Friday the 25th.
‘She has spent time in the arrivals hall my jacket area at upstairs and the departure area. She purchased items at the newsagency and a dome cafe.
For everybody else who was in the airport during this period, the Airport is not considered to be of risk. You are advised to monitor for symptoms and isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
‘The normal lockdown rules apply to you so you should be at home anyway apart from the five reasons. We will also review the CCTV footage from the airport to see if there was any other activity during this period that could be high risk.
‘Everyone at the airport was wearing masks so the risk of spread there was low.’