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Covid cases continue to rise but no further restrictions and changes to self isolation rules

There has been three Covid-related death reported in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours.

The total number of deaths now stands at 2,979 – 17 of which occurred in the last seven days.

The ABC Borough accounts for 402 of those deaths. There have been 223 in the NMD district, while Mid Ulster accounts for 279.

There have been a further 4,701 positive cases recorded from 5,728 people tested in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health’s latest daily dashboard update. There have been 31,613 positive cases in the last seven days.

There were 494 positive cases in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. There were 518 cases in Newry, Mourne and Down – the third highest in NI – while Mid-Ulster recorded 328. Belfast – the highest in NI – recorded 779 positive cases.

There are 303 patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 32 of whom are in intensive care units.

A total of 156 Covid patients have been discharged in the last seven days while there have been 167 admissions during the same period.

Currently, there are 81 Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, 55 of whom are in Craigavon Area Hospital.

There are six ICU beds available across Northern Ireland.

Hospital occupancy in Northern Ireland currently stands at 94%.

Meanwhile, First Minister Paul Givan has announced that the Northern Ireland Executive has “agreed no further restrictions at this time”.

Posting on Twitter, Mr Givan, added: “We will continue to assess the data as more information emerges and meet again on 6th January. Thank you for following the health advice and helping us through this challenging time.”

In a separate post, he also confirmed changes to self isolation rules.

“The self isolation period for positive cases will reduce from 10 days to 7 days subject to negative lateral flow tests on day 6 and 7. This policy will apply retrospectively and takes effect tomorrow.”

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