Today, the Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly, has extended the Hotspot for the purposes of Commonwealth support for the Municipality of Katherine until 11:59pm on 4 December 2021.
This timeframe aligns with the targeted health response implemented by the Northern Territory Government.
Due to high vaccination rates and extensive testing in Robinson River, the Hotspot for the purposes of Commonwealth support for Robinson River and surrounding homelands will expire at 11:59pm on 24 November 2021.
There are now 47 cases associated with the emerging cluster, with cases infectious whilst in the community. Genomic testing has now confirmed the current cluster in Katherine and Robinson River is linked to a cluster in Katherine earlier this month. This suggests the possibility of undetected chains of transmission of COVID-19 in the Katherine community. These cases pose an exposure risk to the people within the area, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities.
Professor Kelly asks people in these regions to continue to follow their local Health Department directions and to book their vaccinations.
About hotspots for Commonwealth support
Declaring a hotspot for Commonwealth support enables the Commonwealth to:
- provide personal protective equipment (PPE) from the National Medical Stockpile
- support aged care facilities, including by providing PPE and the single site workforce supplement, and integrating an aged care response centre into the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre
- provide help with contact tracing
- offer testing to those with no symptoms via GP-led respiratory clinics
- reprioritise vaccine supplies, if required
- offer the COVID-19 Disaster Payment* to eligible workers
- offer access to two telehealth consultation items through the Medicare Benefits Schedule.
- provide support for childcare services, including additional allowable absences, gap fee waivers and support payments, if other eligibility criteria are met.
*The COVID-19 Disaster Payment will continue to be available in Commonwealth Declared Hotspots. When the state reaches 70% full vaccination of the adult population (16+), recipients will need to reapply weekly. When an 80% vaccination rate is reached, the temporary payment will step down over a period of two weeks. For more information please visit Services Australia website.
Learn more about COVID-19 hotspots for Commonwealth support.