NT posts record 594 COVID-19 cases

·2-min read

The Northern Territory has reported another daily COVID-19 case record with 594 infections diagnosed overnight.

The figure - showing new coronavirus cases reported until 8pm on Friday - is up from 412 reported the previous day.

The source of the majority of new cases is under investigation, but health authorities say 65 infections spread in the local community, 101 are close contacts of known cases, and another 67 came from interstate.

Three are in Yuendumu in the central desert northwest of Alice Springs, a town with a relatively low vaccination rate of 65 per cent first dose and 41 per cent fully vaccinated.

Health Minister Natasha Fyles said the trio had travelled from Alice Springs before realising they had contracted COVID-19, and police and health workers had been in touch with them.

"They made sure that these people were aware they are positive, they touched base with their close contacts and advised them of their responsibilities," she told reporters on Saturday.

Extra resources have been sent to Yuendumu, along with nearby Yuelamu where there are more close contacts.

More than 20 infections have also been detected in Alice Springs and one was discovered in Tennant Creek, 510km to the north.

Meanwhile, an investigation is under way into cases in Nhulunbuy in east Arnhem Land, about 700km east of Darwin.

In the nearby community of Yirrkala, a man returned a positive result to a rapid antigen test on Saturday morning.

Ms Fyles said the virus has spread to every region in the territory as the number of active cases grew to 1200.

She also outlined the impact the pandemic was having on the territory's health workers.

Of about 800 full-time equivalent health workers, 120 have been identified as close contacts, and another 30 people have contracted the virus.

All except one of them contracted the virus in social settings outside the health system.

Ms Fyles urged people to get vaccinated and to access health services if they are unwell.

"Our health system is there to care for you whether it's COVID or other illnesses, so please remember that," she said.

A territory-wide lockout of unvaccinated people aged 16 and over started on Thursday and will continue until at least midday on Monday when a proof of vaccination pass system will be rolled out.

It will run on the territory's check-in app and apply to most hospitality and entertainment venues.

Under the lockout, unvaccinated people can only leave their homes for medical treatment and testing, essential goods and services, and to care for a vulnerable person.

They are not permitted to go to workplaces or travel more than 30 kilometres.

There are currently 17 patients in hospital, with six classified as acute hospital admissions, including one in ICU.

More than 3030 COVID-19 tests were processed across the NT yesterday.

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