Coronavirus NI: Eight more people die with COVID-19 - 510 more diagnosed with infection - 457 people in our hospitals and 32 in ICU

Another eight people have died with COVID-19 in Northern Ireland.

By Gemma Murray
Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 3:02 pm

The latest dashboard from the Department of Health reveals that six people died within the last 24 hours and another two people outside that time range.

This brings the death toll here to 1,143.

The dashboard also adds that hospital occupancy in NI stands at 105%.

In the last 24 hours another 510 people were diagnosed witht he virus.

In the last seven days that number increases to 3,326 for Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile there are now 457 people with Coronavirus in NI hospitals - 32 of which are in ICU.

There is now 87 active COVID-19 outbreaks in NI Care Homes.

Covid 19.

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster said people needed to take “all and every precaution” when they come together at Christmas.

Speaking in Newry, Mrs Foster said: “Across the UK we came together and we decided to have this window of opportunity for families to come together, it was a recognition that Christmas is a very special time of the year, and we know that isolation and loneliness is a key worry for a lot of people and that’s why I think it was important for people to come together but they do so in the knowledge that Covid-19 is very much in our community and they need to take all and every precaution when they do come together.”

Health Minister Robin Swann is due to bring proposals for further Covid-19 restrictions to the Stormont executive on Thursday.

Mrs Foster said she did not expect Mr Swann to be recommending that new measures be introduced before Christmas.

“I don’t think he will be proposing closing down before Christmas but we will of course look to see what Robin and his team of advisers have to say to us, I don’t want to prejudge what he is going to say to us tomorrow but we are in a serious situation,” she said.

“Unfortunately the last two weeks don’t appear to have brought the R number down below 1, there is a diminishing return in terms of restrictions, people are out and about now and so there is a very great need for people to have personal responsibility.

“I note what Wales have done, we were speaking to Mark Drakeford this morning on a four nations call and he indicated that that would be the case.

“I am not going to prejudge what the minister is going to bring to us but undoubtedly we will have something to say tomorrow and over the next few days.”

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