NT’s first case of COVID community transmission sends Katherine into lockdown, Greater Darwin into lockout

The Northern Territory has recorded its first ever case of COVID-19 community transmission, prompting a three-day lockdown in the Katherine area from midnight.It follows an unvaccinated man in his 20s testing positive after spending time in the community in Darwin’s rural area and Katherine.Katherine residents will only be permitted to leave their homes for five reasons.The case also means Greater Darwin, including Palmerston and the rural area, will enter the Territory’s first “lockout” for the next 72 hours.Under the lockout, fully vaccinated people will be required to wear a mask when outdoors but can otherwise continue life as normal.However, unvaccinated people will be subject to full lockdown restrictions, including only being able to leave their home for five reasons. People in the lockout area, once inside, will not be permitted to leave other than for essential work or to fly interstate.Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced the new measures at an emergency press conference held about 10pm on Thursday.He said the positive case, who is a contract worker at RAAF Base Tindal outside of Katherine, was tested on Wednesday after developing symptoms the previous day, and returned a “strong positive” result on Thursday evening.He said authorities were concerned because they did not know its source.”The man has not travelled outside of the Territory recently. That means he caught the virus inside the Territory,” he said.”We don’t know where and we don’t know when, but this is community transmission.”More to come.

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