Lockdown orders for Greater Darwin will be lifted at noon today as planned, but people in Katherine will need to wait one more day as health authorities await testing results from casual contacts, most connected to the town's Woolworths.
There are still 12 casual contacts the territory government is trying to locate, and the town's wastewater continues to have traces of COVID-19. Detections of the virus are weak in Darwin.
"The lockdown for the Darwin-Palmerston and Darwin rural areas will end at noon today as scheduled," NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.
"The lockdown for Katherine is being extended for a further 24 hours and is on track to end tomorrow," he said.
In areas where the stay-at-home orders have been lifted, people will still need to wear masks in indoor settings such as retail, but they can be taken off while seated and eating or drinking, and will not be necessary in offices when physical distancing can be maintained.
"These are the exact same rules as last time. If you're going to the supermarket or to a shop, chuck on your mask," Gunner said.
"If you're heading out for dinner or drink, wear a mask but you can remove it while you were seated, eating and drinking."
Gunner said there were 232 negative results that authorities were matching back to the original casual contact list.
"I thank all of our close and casual contacts for their cooperation and their patience this week. People have been truly terrific," Gunner said.
"We need Katherine to hang tight another day, given that we know the man was more infectious while in the community, given the movement between Katherine and remote communities, and given the number of tests that we are doing there."
Updated at 11:38am AEST on 19 August 2021.
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