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Council Chairperson appeals directly to residents following rise in Covid cases

Newry, Mourne and Down district is currently one of the worst hit areas in Northern Ireland for Covid cases.

It sits second only to Derry and Strabane (422.8) for the worst rate of infections per 100,000 people (213) of its population.

And this evening (Friday), Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin has appealed directly to each resident of Newry, Mourne and Down, asking them to do “everything in their power to stem the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the district”.

There has been a notable outbreak in Forkhill, with dozens of cases reported in the village.

The Southern Health Trust also confirmed a sixth patient from Daisy Hill Hospital has died after testing positive for Covid-19.

“This is your chance to do your bit, right now, to help prevent us going back into lockdown,” said Councillor Devlin.

“We must act quickly to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the wider community. Many of you will, by now, have seen that in the past 24 hours alone 934 people tested positive for Covid-19 across Northern Ireland, 182 of which were in Newry, Mourne and Down.

“By now, we know just how quickly this dangerous virus can spread.

“I implore you to think about your actions over the weekend and follow the public health guidance. When out and about – remember to socially distance and wear a face covering where required. Act responsibly if you are visiting our local shops or hospitality venues.

“Thank you to all those who have been doing so. For those who haven’t – you must take this virus seriously. This virus can kill and does kill. Now is the time for action.”

Earlier today Armagh GAA announced it was ceasing “collective training” with the senior county team as a precautionary measure.

A subsequent statement, following a meeting of the Armagh County Management Committee, said “the decision had been taken with immediate effect to suspend all club activity until further notice”.

Armagh GAA Chairperson Mark Savage said: “Following an update today on the significant rise in cases across the north combined with a number of our clubs adversely impacted.

“This decision has not been taken lightly but we believe this is the right and responsible decision to safeguard our members and our communities.

“We will review this situation in consultation with Ulster GAA in the coming days and we urge all members to continue to follow the public health advice.”

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