There have been no new Covid-19 deaths recorded in Northern Ireland over the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health.
However, there has been 16 positive cases confirmed in that time – up one from the day before – the two highest days since June 15.
The total number of deaths remains at 556 with the number of positive cases recorded rising to 5,815.
The number of positive cases recorded in the last seven days stands at 40, with the previous 48 hours (31) contributing significantly to that number.
The Department of Health continues to publish the Covid-19 reproduction number on a weekly basis.
The current estimate of the R number is 0.5 – 1.0 as of today (Thursday).
R represents the number of individuals who, on average, will be infected by a single person with the infection. R does not have a fixed value but varies with time, and is likely to be different every day.
When community transmission of the virus is very low, R will no longer be the most important number for the purpose of policy decisions.
In particular, once the number of new cases is sufficiently low in the context of a robust testing programme and test/trace/protect strategy, the number of positive tests per day is likely to be a more important parameter.
At present, R will show a high degree of volatility and be heavily influenced by small local clusters, and is therefore not the key indicator for policy decisions.