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Eight further Covid deaths in NI as schools set to re-open next week

There have been eight further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Thursday).

All occurred in the last 24 hours, according to the official dashboard, which has the overall total now at 688.

There were a further 822 cases reported in that timeframe, with 75 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon and a further 61 in Newry, Mourne and Down.

A total of 3,283 individuals were tested.

There are 361 people now in hospital – that’s nine more than Tuesday – as a result of the virus, 44 of whom are in intensive care units. There are currently 19 ICU beds available in NI.

Sixty-nine patients are in Craigavon Area Hospital today – seven more than yesterday. To date, 424 patients have been discharged from the Co. Armagh hospital.

There are also nine Covid inpatients at Lurgan Hospital and nine – up one – in Daisy Hill in Newry.

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Meanwhile, schools in Northern Ireland are set to re-open next week.

In a statement to the BBC the Department of Education (DE) said Minister Peter Weir’s priority is “for the continuation of face-to-face teaching as the best form of educational provision whilst providing a safe and welcoming environment for children and staff”.

Schools closed on October 19 as part of an extended half-term break.

The Executive are today discussing the re-opening, with it being their “intentions that schools will reopen” on November 2, according to the DE.

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