NT government confirms 20 close contacts of Granites mine COVID case were in community



The Northern Territory government said 20 people were quarantined after they were identified as close contacts of a man who tested positive for COVID-19 at a major gold mine in central Australia.

The Newmont-owned Granites gold mine, 540 kilometers northwest of Alice Springs, was shut down after the worker tested positive Friday night.

The 20 people, who were in the community, are among a group of 900 workers who left the mine for a week during which authorities believe the man may have been contagious.

Nineteen of them, including one from Katherine, are now in quarantine at the Howard Springs facility near Darwin, while another has entered supervised quarantine in Alice Springs.

The government has not said how long they have been in the community or where they have been.

The government said it had also made contact with interstate people who were considered close contacts.

Of the group of 900 workers who left the mine, more than 220 remain in the NT.

About 400 flew to Brisbane and 250 to Perth, according to the government.

“I have devoted more resources to this massive contact tracing effort to make sure each person is isolated and understands their every move,” Chief Minister Michael Gunner wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday night.

“We are confident in our testing and tracing and believe we have the right restrictions in place at this time.

“But that doesn’t mean things can’t change and I promise we’ll act quickly if we need to.”

There are currently more than 700 workers stranded at the mine, of whom around 70 are expected to be transferred to the Howard Springs facility after they have also been identified as close contacts.

The Government of the Northern Territory has not confirmed the strain of the virus but acts as if it is the highly infectious Delta strain.


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