Outbreaks | 

Five deaths and 1,012 new Covid-19 cases confirmed in Northern Ireland

Positive tests are on the rise

Mark Edwards and Rebecca Black

Five people have died and 1,012 have tested positive for coronavirus in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours, the Department of Health has confirmed.

The death toll has now risen to 615 people.

The total number of confirmed infections is now 27,220 after a further 1,012 people tested positive for Covid-19.

There are now 228 people with Covid-19 in hospital. Thirty of these patients are in intensive care, 23 of which are ventilated.

There are 72 active outbreaks of the virus in Northern Ireland care homes.

Meanwhile, four prison officers have tested positive for Covid-19.

The staff are based at the Hydebank Wood (HBW) facility for women and young offenders in south Belfast.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service said a further 14 staff who tested negative are self-isolating and two prisoners have also been put into isolation.

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A spokesman said: “The prison service has well-established and embedded arrangements for testing staff, and to track and trace close contacts following a positive case.

“Following the contact tracing at HBW, a further 14 staff, who have all tested negative, are self-isolating and two prisoners have also been put into isolation as a precaution.

“The safety of staff and the people in our care is our priority and the prison service will take all necessary steps to mitigate against the risk of Covid-19 in our prisons.”

Prison visits were temporarily suspended on Friday as Northern Ireland came under tough new restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of coronavirus.

There has been a marked increase in the number of new cases of the virus in the region, with hospital admissions also starting to rise.

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