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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: First primary school closes due to outbreak as 220 new cases of virus confirmed

  • Over 1,500 positive cases in last seven days, including 390 in Belfast and 355 in Derry and Strabane
  • Small number of QUB students have tested positive, university says
  • Scroll down to read Monday's blog

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St Comgall's Primary School, Bangor. Credit: Google

St Comgall's Primary School, Bangor. Credit: Google

St Comgall's Primary School, Bangor. Credit: Google

A primary school in Bangor has become the first in Northern Ireland to close as a result of positive Covid-19 cases.

St Comgall's Primary School has closed its doors after two positive cases of the virus were identified.

The school told parents that the decision had been approved "at a higher level".

The BBC has reported Principal Cathy Hunter said she had been left with "no other option", but there was "no need to panic".

Coronavirus Data Graphs

Pupils from two classes have been asked to self-isolate as a result of the outbreak.

In a latter to parents Mrs Hunter said the closure was to "protect the health and safety of the whole school community".

St Comgall's intends to reopen on October 12.

Education Minister Peter Weir told the BBC that whole schools would not be expected to close "in the vast majority of cases".

"It shouldn't be a whole school or for a very lengthy period," he said.

"The advice that is given is that where there is someone who has tested positive, the school is to draw up a list of close contacts - those who have been within 2m for 15 minutes or more - and for those individuals, in correspondence with the Public Health Agency, to self-isolate."

It comes after a further 220 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the last 24 hours in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has said.

It brings to 10,949 the total number of people who have tested positive with the virus to date here.

A total of 1,513 people have tested positive in the last week, including 355 in Derry City and Strabane alone, second only to Belfast with 390 cases over the past seven days.

No further deaths were confirmed, with the total remaining at 578.

There are 51 patients with the virus in Northern Ireland hospitals, with six in intensive care units.

Meanwhile, there are currently 28 outbreaks in care homes - with 202 closed outbreaks so far.

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A number of students in Queen's University halls of residence in Belfast have been told to self-isolate after testing positive for Covid-19.

A spokesperson for the university confirmed on Monday morning that a "small number" of students had tested positive for the virus.

"Robust protocols" are also in place to minimise the risk of the virus spreading, the spokesperson added.

Check out our blog below to see how Monday's development's unfolded:


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