Ever since he became eligible, there has been no doubt in the mind of Matthew Owen that he would be rolling up his sleeve to get the Pfizer vaccine.
On June 8 at 5.45pm the moment arrived for the Katherine resident and on Day 3 since that appointment, Matthew said "all is going well".
"I don't feel any soreness in my arm, haven't gained any flu-like symptoms, and while I do feel a little tired today, that may be as a result of my being up until the middle of the night fixing my car door," he said.
On Day 1 following the COVID-19 vaccine injection, Matthew was only met with some fatigue.
"I'm feeling rather tired, but otherwise fine. The soreness in my arm is mild to the point of being almost unnoticeable," he said.
Before receiving his COVID-19 vaccine, Matthew said getting vaccinated is all about protecting the community.
"There was no question in my mind. As far as I'm concerned, I consider getting vaccinated a civic responsibility," Mr Owen said.
The quest to get the jab was made easier for Matthew by Katherine having its own vaccination hub in operation three days a week.
"Absolutely having a clinic Katherine made it easier for me," he said.
"I didn't find it too difficult. All I needed was to make sure I had a printer handy to print out the forms but aside from that, I've got all my paperwork ready. I'll be showing up prepared this afternoon."
Matthew encouraged fellow Katherinites to book in for their COVID vaccine dose, but suggested those a little wary of the task to speak to their medical professional.
"Talk to your GP, he or she is the person who knows you and cares for your health that you entrust with your health care on a daily basis. If you have any concerns, they will be able to speak for those in a way that corresponds to your situation," he said.
The Katherine clinic is located at the Training Centre, 19 Second Street, Katherine. Parking is via O'Shea Terrace.
This story was originally published on June 8, 2021 at 9am via the Katherine Times. The story will be updated regularly.
New measures implemented
The Chief Health Officer requires anyone who enters to the Northern Territory that has left quarantine in another state or Territory, to get a COVID-19 test on Day 17 after their quarantine period commenced.
This is one of the measures included in the updated CHO Directions for Territory Border Restrictions, which came into effect on June 5, 2021 at 12:01am.
As part of these extra protections, a person must now also declare on their NT Border Entry Form if they have been in quarantine in another jurisdiction in the 28 days prior to entering the Territory.
In addition to this, anyone entering the Northern Territory must get a COVID-19 test if required to, at any time during the 28 days after entry. Refusal to test will result in quarantine for 10 days, or for those people already in quarantine a 10-day extension of their quarantine period.
Victoria declared a COVID-19 hotspot
In addition to arrivals from Greater Melbourne and Bendigo, the updated CHO directions in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria requires that:
- Anyone travelling to the Northern Territory from the state of Victoria must undertake 14 days of mandatory, supervised quarantine at the Alice Springs or Howard Springs quarantine facilities from 12 noon on June 3, 2021
- Anyone who arrived in the Northern Territory from Victoria between 12 May 2021 and 12.00am on 27 May 2021 must check the Victorian Department of Health website at least once per day because the list of public exposure sites is continually expanding.
- Arrivals must ensure they are complying with NT quarantine and testing directions if a place they have been to becomes a public exposure site.
- Anyone who is symptomatic, regardless as to whether or not they have been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot, must isolate, seek a test, and remain in self-quarantine until a negative test is returned.
Quarantine directions for NSW travelers
The CHO is directing any person who has arrived in the Northern Territory since May 23, 2021, or who will arrive in the Northern Territory and has been to a NSW COVID-19 case location at the dates and times specified to:
- Any person defined as a 'close contact' by NSW health authorities must immediately get tested and undertake 14 days of quarantine in their home or at a suitable place. They must remain in quarantine (unless to get tested) until noon of the 14th day after they were in a NSW COVID-19 case location, regardless of whether they return a negative COVID-19 test.
- Any person identified as a 'casual contact' by NSW health authorities must isolate, get a COVID-19 test and remain in self-quarantine until a negative is returned.
- Any person who has arrived, or who will arrive in the Northern Territory and has been in New South Wales since 23 May 2021 must check the NSW Health COVID-19 case locations website at least once per day and comply with these directions if a place they have been to becomes a COVID-19 case location.
New South Wales COVID-19 case locations can be found here.
Victorian three tier system
The Victorian Department of Health has a three tier, risk-based system for exposure sites. In line with the Victorian tier system, the Acting Chief Health Officer has made the following directions in relation to any sites listed from 16 May onwards:
- Tier 1 (A): Anyone who arrived in the Northern Territory after 12.01am on 25 May 2021 who has visited any of the Tier 1 public exposure sites as stipulated by Victorian health authorities at the specified dates and times must enter mandatory supervised quarantine at their first port of arrival.
- Tier 1 (B): Anyone who arrived into the Northern Territory between 16 May 2021 and 12.00am on 25 May 2021 immediately get tested and undertake 14 days of quarantine in their home or at a suitable place. They must remain in quarantine (unless to get tested) until noon of the 14th day after they were in a Victorian Tier 1 public exposure site, regardless of whether they return a negative COVID-19 test.
- Tier 2: Anyone who arrived into the Northern Territory since 16 May 2021, and until otherwise directed, must self-isolate, get a test and remain in self-quarantine until a negative is returned.
- Tier 3: Anyone who arrived into the Northern Territory since 16 May 2021, and until otherwise directed, must monitor your symptoms and if any symptoms develop, immediately self-isolate, get a test and remain in self-quarantine until a negative is returned.
Follow health regulations
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms, do not travel.
- Make sure you get tested and stay at home, maintain a physical distance of 1.5m at all times.
- Wash your hands with soap and water and use hand sanitiser regularly.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Put your tissue in the bin straight away.
- Do not go to work if you feel sick.
- If you have symptoms, stay away from others and call a doctor or the NT COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 490 484
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