Local News

COVID: No new cases in the NT but hundreds of test results delayed

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No new cases of COVID-19 have recorded in the Northern Territory overnight but there have been some delays with results.

Health Minister Natasha Fyles says more than 300 tests from Katherine could not able to be flown to laboratories until late yesterday.

“They were delayed due to the large storm we had between Katherine and Darwin, it did impact on our ability to fly individuals and also those tests,” Ms Fyles says.

She says they are expecting the results later today.

Fragments of the virus are still showing up in sewage at Katherine’s Bicentennial Road catchment, which authorities still believe is linked to earlier positive cases.

Acting Chief Health Officer Doctor Charles Pain says both the test and wastewater results will guide decisions about whether Katherine can move into a lockout.

“It’s increasingly likely that we have tracked down the main cases in Katherine, particularly in Katherine east.”

While authorities are fairly confident they have stopped community transmission, Doctor Pain says they are expecting more positive cases to emerge from Binjari and Howard Springs in the coming days.

He says they are yet to determine the missing link between the first and second cluster, which began nine days later.

Teams will focus on re-testing the Binjari community for a third time over the weekend.

The mask mandate has now been lifted for the Big Rivers Region.

Business payments

Extra support has been announced for businesses that have been impacted by a lockdown for more than a week.

Businesses are eligible for weekly payments of up to $4,000 if they had to stop or reduce trading and have lost more than half of their revenue.

But it is only open to those with a turnover between $75,000 and $10 million and less than 20 full time staff.

The funds are retrospective and are also available to businesses that had to close for deep cleaning after being deemed as an exposure site.