There have been seven further Covid-related deaths reported in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours.
Since yesterday there have been two deaths in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough and one in Newry, Mourne and Down.
According to the official dashboard, there were a further 1,564 positive cases – up 254 – reported in the last 24 hours with 178 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. There were 82 in Newry, Mourne and Down while Mid-Ulster District recorded 125. Belfast had 239 cases in the last 24 hours.
A total of 4,538 individuals were tested in that time.
There are 392 – an increase of 58 – people in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 47 of whom are in an intensive care unit.
There are 87 – an increase of nine – Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, 76 of whom are in Craigavon Area Hospital. There are 10 patients in Daisy Hill.
There are currently 8 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.
Hospital occupancy currently stands at 102% of capacity.
The total number of deaths now stands at 2,258.
There have been 25 deaths in the last seven days, down on the previous seven where 28 deaths were recorded.
The Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area accounts for 304 deaths overall. Newry, Mourne and Down District accounts for 175 deaths while Mid-Ulster has registered 210 deaths.
Meanwhile, NI’s Chief Medical Officer has urged young people aged 16 and over not to miss out on Covid-19 vaccination.
Professor Sir Michael McBride welcomed the “Big Jab Weekend” initiative to improve vaccine take-up.
It will see the mass vaccination centres once again offering vaccine first doses to all eligible age groups – for two days only this Saturday and Sunday (August 21 and 22).
That’s on top of ongoing vaccinations at walk-in pop-up clinics across Northern Ireland, and at participating community pharmacies.
The Chief Medical Officer said: “Young people have made huge sacrifices in this pandemic. Vaccination is their passport back to normality. It helps protect them and the people they care about. It also will be vital to helping our health service cope in the coming months.
“Please don’t miss out on all the benefits that come with getting the jab. You do not want to get this virus. You do not want to pass it to someone else. And you do not want long COVID, with all the health complication that involves.
“I am not interesting in lecturing or berating young people on vaccination. It is their decision. But I would ask them to make an informed decision, based on information from trusted sources.”
The ‘Big Jab Weekend’ this Saturday and Sunday will be the last chance for anyone aged 18 and over to get their first jab at a mass vaccination centre.
There will be ongoing initiatives, including further mobile clinics. However, opportunities will inevitably become more limited, as the focus of the vaccination programme switches to booster jabs.