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Ten new Covid cases as pupils return to school for first time in six months

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There have been 10 new positive Covid-19 cases in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours, according to the Department of Health.

However the seven day number for positive coronavirus cases stands at 359 with 129 reported since Friday.

The total number now amounts to 6,776.

There are nine in-patients across Northern Ireland hospitals with one person in ICU.

Meanwhile, thousands of pupils returned to school today for the first time since lockdown in March.

Education Minister Peter Weir this morning outlined significant package of funding to help support the safe reopening of schools.

The package includes: £17.5million towards the cost of substitute teachers and other school expenditure; £6.4million for PPE; £5million for school wellbeing initiatives; £3.1million for home to school transport; and £1.4million to support special educational needs. The funding is for the first term of the new academic year.

Education Minister Peter Weir said: “I fully recognise the stresses felt by teachers, parents and pupils due to the ongoing disruption and uncertainty regarding the future.

“My key priority has always been to ensure all of our children and young people return to school on a full-time basis, as soon as it is safe to do so.

“To help support schools, I have allocated funding which will address many of the new pressures arising as a result of Covid-19, including increased substitute teacher costs, wellbeing initiatives for pupils, PPE and home to school transport.”

Concluding, the Minister said everyone had to play their part in addressing the challenges posed by Covid-19 by following public health advice

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