There have been another six Covid-related deaths reported in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours.
The total number of deaths now stands at 2,942 – 23 of which occurred in the last seven days.
The ABC Borough accounts for 401 of those deaths. There have been 219 – up one – in the NMD district, while Mid Ulster accounts for 274.
There have been a further 2,237 – up 81 – positive cases recorded from 7,216 people tested in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health’s latest daily dashboard update. There have been 12,548 positive cases in the last seven days.
There were 252 positive cases in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. There were 263 cases in Newry, Mourne and Down – the second highest in NI – while Mid-Ulster recorded 152. Belfast – the highest in NI – recorded 402 positive cases.
There are 309 – down six – patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 32 – no change – of whom are in intensive care units.
A total of 206 Covid patients have been discharged in the last seven days while there have been 140 admissions during the same period.
Currently, there are 97 – down four – Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, 65 – up five – of whom are in Craigavon Area Hospital.
There are two ICU beds available across Northern Ireland.
Hospital occupancy in Northern Ireland currently stands at 106% – down 1%.
Meanwhile, local schools are beginning to announce early Christmas closures.
Clounagh Junior High in Portadown, this afternoon (Thursday) announced that tomorrow – Friday, December 17 – will be the last of the term due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases.