There have been nine further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland today (Thursday).
According to the official dashboard, six of the nine occurred within the last 24 hour reporting period.
Two of those deaths occurred in the ABC Borough which now accounts for 284 overall. Newry, Mourne and Down District has a total of 164 deaths. Mid-Ulster currently has 198 – an increase of two in 24 hours.
The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department now stands at 2,096.
There were a further 223 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, with 16 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – one of the lowest in NI. There was a further 18 in Newry, Mourne and Down and 27 in Mid-Ulster.
A total of 2,115 individuals were tested.
There are 189 – 23 less than yesterday – people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 26 of whom are in intensive care units.
There are currently 40 people in hospitals in the Southern Trust area – 15 in Craigavon and 19 in Lurgan – being treated for Covid-19.
There are currently 23 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, the NI Executive are currently discussing the date when all children should return to school.
Education Minister Peter Weir wants all pupils in Northern Ireland back in classrooms by April 12 as well as scrapping plans for pupils in primaries one to three to revert to remote learning.