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Covid warning at Northern Territory mine

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Territory Health Minister Natasha Fyles announced the detection of the first case on Thursday afternoon, saying the worker had tested positive to the virus before mingling with other workers on site and was isolating at Howard Springs quarantine facility in Darwin. But a spokesman for South32 said late on Thursday that a second case of the virus had been picked up in a worker already isolating at Groote, who had also been flown to Howard Springs. It is believed both workers flew to the mine on the same flight, although it is not clear whether the two cases are related or were infected separately ahead of their travel to the manganese operation. The company is monitoring the condition of other workers that arrived at the same time, and operations at Groote have not be affected. “A small number of people, deemed to be close contacts, are in isolation on Groote Eylandt and will undergo PCR testing, at the direction of the Northern Territory government,” the spokesman said. “Operations are continuing under controls and protocols designed to protect the Groote Eylandt community and our workforce from Covid-19.” South32’s mine sits on an island off the coast of NT, which contains vulnerable indigenous communities with relatively low vaccination rates. It is understood the workers had no opportunity for contact with local communities before recording a positive test.“Our priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of Groote Eylandt’s communities and our workforce,” the company said.“We are working with the Anindilyakwa Land Council to ensure the community is informed with the latest advice and information regarding the positive Covid-19 cases.”



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