• Sat. Oct 29th, 2022

The NT Chief Minister announces a new exposure site in Darwin after a positive case allegedly defies health directions.

Jul 1, 2021

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner says a man who tested positive to COVID-19 defied health directions and went to the corner shop, when he should have been in self-isolation.
Key points:

  • Mr Gunner said the listing of a new exposure site could potentially extend Greater Darwin’s lockdown
  • Authorities discovered the alleged lie after interrogating the man and viewing CCTV footage
  • The man also visited the Buff Club on Friday, June 275

Mr Gunner said the man was currently being “interrogated by the police”.
The man went to a Corner Store Friendly Grocer in Stuart Park on Sunday, June 27 between 12:18pm and 12:35pm.
During this period he had been ordered to be in self-isolation.
“He was under a legal direction to isolate,” Mr Gunner said.
“He broke the law and he lied about it.
“I am extremely unhappy about this turn of events.”
The man was wearing a mask while in the store, Mr Gunner said.
At a press conference earlier today Mr Gunner expressed confidence Darwin would exit lockdown as scheduled on Friday.(ABC News: Michael Franchi
News may ‘impact’ Darwin’s lockdown
Mr Gunner said the listing of a new exposure site could potentially extend Greater Darwin’s lockdown.
A lockdown across Greater Darwin is scheduled to be lifted at 1:00pm tomorrow.
“Depending on what we can learn tonight, this may have an impact on our decision for the lockdown tomorrow morning,” he said.
“I hope it won’t, but I have got to be straight with you, it might.
“We will keep working tonight and update you again in the morning.”
Read our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic
Mr Gunner said the man, in his 50s, flew from the Tanami mine site to Darwin on Friday last week.
Authorities confirmed the man had COVID-19 on Monday morning.
He said authorities had interviewed the man several times, and that he then lied about his whereabouts.
Authorities discovered the man’s alleged lie after interrogating him, interviewing contacts and reviewing CCTV, Mr Gunner said.
One new locally acquired case reported in the Northern Territory
Stuart Park store listed as exposure site
Anyone who visited the Corner Store Friendly Grocer in Stuart Park on Sunday, June 27 between 12:18pm and 12:35pm is now a casual contact and required to call the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 490 484.
Mr Gunner said the exposure site was across the road from a high-traffic service centre and “attended by vulnerable Indigenous populations”.
He said police had reviewed the CCTV footage and “very few people” entered the store over this period.
“We don’t believe that anybody from our Indigenous communities entered the store during that time,” Mr Gunner said.
“However, there is a risk, that is why it is now an exposure site.
“That is why anyone in the store during the specific period must now isolate and be tested.”
The Granites gold mine is in the Tanami Desert in the Northern Territory.(Supplied: Newmont Australia
Gunner calls for ‘absolute honesty’
The positive case was first reported on Monday, at which time Mr Gunner said the man had been in the community while potentially infectious for 36 hours.
On Monday, authorities said the man had been put in quarantine on Saturday evening.
However, Mr Gunner said the man had spent longer in the community and did not enter quarantine in Howard Springs until Sunday.
We didn’t know about the corner shop exposure site as he didn’t disclose that visit and that was a breach of the law, Mr Gunner said.
He was under a legal direction to stay isolated before being transferred to the centre but he didn’t do that.
“The best way through coronavirus is absolute honesty. Just tell us your movements and we can trace your movements and keep the community safe.”
Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak
Mr Gunner said the listing of a new exposure site could potentially extend Greater Darwin’s lockdown.
NT Police continue to investigate
NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said the situation had set authorities “a number of days behind” in their contact tracing efforts.
“I need to stress upfront, we are reliant on the information that the community give us, particularly those who are caught up in any of the [Chief Health Officer’s directions],” he said.
“To those who are identified in this newly announced exposure site, let me be very clear: stay at home or stay where you are as long as you can self-isolate from everyone that you are with and please ring the COVID hotline.”
Commissioner Chalker said the man would be “held to account” for his actions.
“It is a privilege to be directed to self-isolate at your home because that has inherent trust in it,” he said.
“That trust has been broken to the community of the Northern Territory.”
Mr Gunner said if authorities were able to promptly track down all casual contacts then they could be tested by tonight.