The Northern Territory’s daily COVID-19 case tally has almost doubled with 37 new infections detected.
The spike in cases follows a significant increase in virus testing, Health Minister Natasha Fyles told reporters on Thursday.
“It is disappointing to have 37 cases but the good news is that that rate of spread is still low in terms of those positive cases,” she said.
More than a dozen cases are interstate travellers or people who are household contacts of recent arrivals in the territory.
Two people tested positive after going to a birthday party in Darwin on December 23.
Nine more have been linked to a community cluster in the towns of Tennant Creek and Katherine, bringing that outbreak to 163 cases.
Two were US Marines deployed in Australia who flew to the NT from Queensland and another is a Royal Darwin Hospital nurse.
More than 3600 people were tested in the past 24 hours, up from about 1600 the day prior.
Territorians have been urged to use face masks and check-in, but no new health restrictions have been imposed.
The NT doesn’t plan to immediately adopt changes agreed at national cabinet to the length of isolation periods and the definition of what a close contact is.
“The territory certainly is in a different position to jurisdictions such as NSW,” Ms Fyles said.
“But the territory does agree in principle with the decisions made a national cabinet and now work to implement them”.