Nine new cases of COVID-19 linked to a cluster in Katherine have been announced as the town's lockdown is extended until 6pm on Monday and a territory-wide mask mandate takes effect.
The Katherine lockdown will now last at least a week, with the Territory wide mask mandate until 6pm on Monday designed to help prevent spread.of the virus.
The new cases are close household contacts of a further two cases announced on Monday night and are in two households.
It is not yet known if the latest cluster is linked to one involving a 21-year-old woman to travelled to the Territory from Cairns and lead to Territory lockdowns and lockouts.
The new cases are all Aboriginal Territorians - a 72-year- old man, a 65 year-old woman, a 62-year-old woman, a 40-year old woman, a 38-year-old woman, a 22-year-old woman, a 16-year-old girl and twin 5-year-old girls. The 65-year-old woman is in Royal Darwin Hospital receiving treatment but is not in intensive care.
MacFarlane Primary School and the Katherine Hospital have been added as exposure sites, with Chief Minister Michael Gunner urging children from the school to get tested today.
Wurli-Wurlinjang Health Service's main clinic, the Katherine Pub and Captain Jack's Fish'n'chips are also close contact sites, with times and dates available on the Secure NT website.
Eleven people have now been identified as being positive and 161 close contacts have been identified.
A 43-year-old Aboriginal man tested positive to the virus on Saturday, with authorities treating him as infectious since November 10. The fully-vaccinated man lives with seven other people in Katherine East.
One of his household contacts, a 30-year-old unvaccinated Aboriginal woman, tested positive to the virus in the remote community of Robinson River.
Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said that all those affected were either at Howard Springs or on their way to quarantine, except for the woman in hospital.
Mr Gunner said there was a major contact tracing effort underway and meetings were held today with Katherine Aboriginal health service providers Wurli Wurlinjang, Katherine West and Sunshine.
"They are with us co-ordinating mobile testing, mobile vaccination, contact tracing, welfare, support and education on symptoms," he said. "This is a co-ordinated effort."
He said that extra vaccine had been sent to Katherine and that door-to-door vaccine roll-outs in public housing areas were ongoing.
People have been urged to get tested at the slightest symptoms as there is a significant gap between cases.
"We want to see a testing response from across the Territory," Mr Gunner said.
He said Katherine was doing it tough.
"I feel for the people of Katherine and Katherine business. I do not want to have to lock you down," Mr Gunner said.
"You've done everything we've asked and you've made sacrifices for every Territorian.
"We're doing everything we can today to test and trace. We will not stop working. "
Katherine's vaccination rate stands at 75 per cent second dose, he said.
"Everyone who got vaccinated has done their bit to protect themselves and their community and to protect the Katherine economy,
"Your next job is to get onto any reluctant friends to get the vaccine. Vaccines save lives.
"This is our challenge to the people of Katherine. This is how you can best help yourself, your loved ones and the community."