COVID-19 Cluster in NI: Shared karaoke microphone infected up-to 20 NI party-goers with Coronavirus

A microphone shared amongst people from several different households is thought to have contributed to the formation of a COVID-19 cluster in Northern Ireland.

Friday, 17th July 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 17th July 2020, 4:46 pm

The cluster was discovered by the Public Health Agency (PHA) in the Limavady area of county Londonderry.

When contacted on Friday, the PHA neither confirmed nor denied the suggestion that a shared microphone contributed to the spread of the virus in Limavady.

Instead, they said they were confident the cluster of infections could all be traced back to a "social gathering in a private/residential setting".

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The PHA has identified up to 20 cases, all of which can be traced back to a house party in the Limavady area recently.

Up to 20 people are believed to have infected as a result of the gathering in Limavady.

"We will not comment on individual cases as this could lead to people being identified and deter others with symptoms coming forward to be tested," said a PHA spokesperson.

"We would ask everyone to be mindful of this risk," the spokesperson added.

A mobile testing unit has been deployed to the Limavady area to assist with tracking and traces potential positive cases of COVID-19.

The Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said now was not a time for people to become complacent about the virus.

“Today’s news underlines once again that we have to keep up our guard against Covid-19.

“Social gatherings in private residences have been an issue on both sides of the border."

Dr. McBride added: “We have made important strides forward against the virus, but we must always remember that we have a long way to go. We face a very uncertain next few months and the very real prospect of a very challenging autumn and winter.

“Please keep following the public health advice at all times. Stay safe and save lives. And make sure you avoid crowds, closed spaces and close contact when you are socialising.”

Meanwhile, there were no further coronavirus deaths reported in Northern Ireland on Friday, with the total recorded by the Department of Health still standing at 556.

There were 19 new confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the total recorded on the department’s Covid-19 dashboard to 5,834.

If you are concerned that you are experiencing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, you must self-isolate and arrange a test as soon as possible.

For further information on the virus, its symptoms and how to book a test, visit www.pha.site/coronavirus--

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