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Two further Covid-19 deaths in NI with four new confirmed cases in past 24 hours

Shambles Yard Armagh

There have been two further Covid-19 deaths in Northern Ireland, according to the Department of Health.

It brings the total number to 526.

The total number of new cases confirmed over the last 24 hours rose by just four.

There are currently 78 Covid-19 patients being treated in Craigavon hospital with none in Daisy Hill.

Meanwhile, police said there were crowds of 1,000 people on the beaches at Crawfordsburn and Helen’s Bay in Co Down yesterday (Monday).

“Other Coastal areas were also busy,” said a PSNI spokesperson.

“Please use your common sense and avoid well known tourist and beauty spots today so that you protect your own and other’s health,” they added.

Elsewhere, The Arts Council of Northern Ireland opened the Organisations Emergency Programme (OEP), worth £500,000, which offers organisations the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £25,000 each.

Small and medium sized organisations will be able to apply for maximum funding of £25,000 to help them continue creative work, assist with operational costs, where these have been affected as a result of the COVID-19, and to help plan for recovery.

The OEP fund provides much needed financial support, a lifeline to arts organisations, at a time when the arts sector has been decimated under quarantine conditions, the closure of theatres, venues and galleries, the cancellation of festivals and events and the disappearance of live audiences.

The Organisations Emergency Programme is one element of the wider £1.5m funding package recently announced by Minister Hargey, Department for Communities, to support the arts and wider culture sectors during the current pandemic.

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA said: “The Arts Sector is facing many barriers; this fund will offer equality of opportunity and access for a broad range of people.

“I have asked my Department to continue to do everything possible to provide support and assistance to individuals and organisations in the Arts Sector at this time. I am also grateful to the Arts Council for working with my Department in responding to the needs of the sector.”

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