The Northern Territory has recorded no new COVID-19 cases overnight.
- The Chief Minister said he was confident the virus was contained
- Alice Springs and Greater Darwin came out of lockdown on Friday
- Authorities expressed overall satisfaction with post-lockdown behaviour across the NT
It is third day in a row the NT has reported zero cases.
The NT government imposed lockdowns in Greater Darwin and Alice Springs last week in response to an outbreak that began at the Granites gold mine in Central Australia.
Both lockdowns were lifted on Friday but some restrictions remain in place.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner today expressed optimism the outbreak was contained in the Northern Territory and thanked members of the public for their behaviour after emerging from lockdown.
Mr Gunner said 26 of 37 close contacts of a case who spent a day at Alice Springs airport late last week had returned negative tests, with the test results for the remaining 11 still pending.
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He said 97 of 104 casual contacts from a grocery store in Stuart Park, which was listed as an exposure site on Thursday, had so far tested negative.
Authorities were waiting on five test results from people who had been at the Buff Club exposure site, but were confident the close contacts of highest concern had all tested negative, Mr Gunner said.
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Mr Gunner also said wastewater testing results had come back negative for coronavirus in both Alice Springs and Greater Darwin, except in the catchment areas of Howard Springs and Royal Darwin Hospital where authorities expected to see traces of the virus.
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While authorities have expressed overall satisfaction with public behaviour following the lifting of lockdowns on Friday, an alleged spitting incident in Darwin’s CBD on Saturday night has drawn the ire of the NT Police Commissioner.
Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said a 22-year-old woman spat on a staff member at a venue on Mitchell Street after she was asked to wear a mask.
The woman is facing criminal charges and will be fined for breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions, Commissioner Chalker said.
“That behaviour in completely and utterly reprehensible,” he said.
“Across the rest of the NT, the behaviour has continued to be very good, a standard we hope maintains.”
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In thanking members of the NT public for their behaviour after lockdown, Mr Gunner in particular praised people on 14-day stay-at-home orders and workers at the Granites gold mine, who remain in quarantine.
“While a lot of us are now enjoying stepping back into the freedom, or close to the freedom of what we had before, there are still people doing the right thing by the rest of us and are locking down to make sure we keep the virus trapped where it needs to be trapped,” he said.
Mr Gunner said some post-lockdown restrictions remained on track to ease by Friday if there were no further cases recorded in the Northern Territory.
NT Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie said restrictions were still a critical safety net while health authorities waited on further test results.
“At the moment we seem to have controlled this outbreak, but this isn’t over yet, so that’s why there needs to be some controls,” he said.
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