'EXTREMELY UNHAPPY': Exposure site added after infected miner's 'lie' revealed

·3-min read

Another Covid-19 public exposure site has been found in the Northern Territory after an infected miner breached his isolation order and allegedly lied to authorities.

The new site is a supermarket in the Darwin suburb of Stuart Park, a furious Chief Minister Michael Gunner told reporters late on Thursday.

The man in his 50s allegedly misreported his movement to authorities, initially saying he was only in the community for 36 hours before isolating.

Anyone who attended the Corner Store between 12.18pm and 12.35pm on Sunday must now isolate and contact authorities for a Covid-19 test.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner addresses the media at a press conference at NT parliament house, in Darwin.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he's furious a miner with Covid-19 allegedly lied about his movements. Source: AAP

"I am extremely unhappy with this turn of events. Don't lie to authorities. The best way through coronavirus is to be absolutely honest," Mr Gunner said.

"This is not where I want to be tonight. He broke the law and he lied about it."

It comes hours after the NT recorded a new virus case following an outbreak that started in Newmont's Granites Mine, about 540km northwest of Alice Springs, six days ago.

That miner tested positive for the Delta variant in Darwin's Centre for National Resilience at Howard Springs.

He was a close contact of the first case, who tested positive for the virus on Saturday after arriving at the mine on June 18.

A man in high-vis in a mine site.
The case has shutdown an entire mine site. Source: ABC

Alice Springs in lockdown

Meanwhile, Alice Springs has finished its first full day of lockdown.

The town was locked down on Wednesday after another miner spent most of last Friday at the town's airport.

He then flew to Adelaide where he tested positive for the virus a day ago, along with four members of his family.

More than 60 close contacts linked to that miner have been identified in the NT

The crisis started on Saturday when a young Victorian man, who travelled to the mine via a Brisbane quarantine hotel, tested positive for the virus.

More than 700 workers were immediately ordered to isolate at the mine as authorities scrambled to track about 800 more who had flown to their homes around Australia after the infected miner arrived.

It's understood 17 cases are linked to the outbreak.

The man at the centre of today's warning left the mine on Friday.

He travelled to multiple venues, including Darwin's Buff Club, before being ordered to isolate at home while he waited to be moved to Howard Springs.

Authorities initially reported that he'd been moved to the quarantine facility on Saturday night, with Mr Gunner labelling it an "internal reporting error".

He said the man would be further "interrogated" to ensure he has fully revealed his movements in the community while infectious.

"This individual is in a spot of bother as it relates to us," NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said.

"It is bitterly disappointing. We will fully investigate this matter to ensure this individual is held to account.

"He's got a lot to think about. It has set us a number of days behind."

A close contact of the man from the Buff Club was on Wednesday moved from Jabiru to Howard Springs after she refused to isolate at her home in Kakadu National Park.

Darwin and surrounding areas have been in lockdown since Sunday, with hopes restrictions would end on Friday after wastewater testing found no evidence of Covid in the community

But that now looks unlikely, with Mr Gunner saying it will come down to how quickly any new contacts can be isolated and tested.

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