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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Nine deaths and 150 Southern Trust staff isolating following outbreaks at Craigavon and Daisy Hill Hospital

  • NI Department of Health death toll rises to 575
  • MLA tests postive
  • Scroll down to read Friday's blog

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Dozens of staff at Craigavon Area Hospital are self-isolating

Dozens of staff at Craigavon Area Hospital are self-isolating

An emergency department nurse (Michael Cooper/PA)

An emergency department nurse (Michael Cooper/PA)

PA

Dozens of staff at Craigavon Area Hospital are self-isolating

Nine people have died and more than 150 Southern Trust staff are self-isolating after Covid-19 outbreaks at Craigavon Area Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital.

The total number of patients connected to the Haematology Ward at Craigavon Area Hospital who have tested positive remains at 14, while six patients who had a positive diagnosis of Covid-19 have passed away.

Twenty-three members of staff have tested positive and 45 staff members have been identified as potential contacts and are currently self-isolating.

Eleven patients connected to the Male Medical Ward at Daisy Hill Hospital have also tested positive for Covid-19, while 21 staff have tested positive and there are 67 staff contacts currently off work and self-isolating.

Three patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 have passed away.

Two staff members who tested positive are connected to theatres in Daisy Hill. The outbreak in Daisy Hill will be subject to a level 3 Serious Adverse Incident review.

The trust said due to the impact on staffing, some elective surgery lists at the start of next week will be postponed.

Trust Chief Executive Shane Devlin said: “On behalf of all our staff, we pass on our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of patients who have passed away.

"Our immediate priority is to manage the serious impact of Covid-19 in our community and in our facilities.

"We have sought independent advice from both the NI Public Health Agency and Public Health England to make sure that our management is of the highest standard and we are sharing our learning with other Trusts across Northern Ireland.”

It comes after the Department of Health confirmed that another two people have died as a result of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

One of the deaths occurred in the past 24 hours, while another was previously unreported.

It brings the death toll from the virus to 575.

Another 163 cases of the virus were confirmed on Thursday after 6,509 tests were carried out on 3,872 people.

There have now been 8,943 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland since the pandemic began.

Over the past seven days 763 people have tested positive, with 188 new cases in the Belfast council area and 127 in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon.

In Northern Ireland's hospitals there are currently 21 patients with Covid-19, with four in intensive care units.

Hospital bed occupancy is currently at 86%, while 23 intensive care unit beds remain free.

A total of 1,607 patients have now been released from hospital after recovering from Covid-19.

In Northern Ireland's care homes there are currently 27 active outbreaks of the virus.

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SDLP’s Daniel McCrossan

SDLP’s Daniel McCrossan

SDLP’s Daniel McCrossan

SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan has also confirmed he has tested positive for the virus and is self-isolating.

The West Tyrone MLA said he had caught Covid-19 from a member of his household and had not attended the Assembly or his constituency office since early last week.

Meanwhile, new restrictions aiming to halt the spread of Covid-19 will come into effect in parts of Co Armagh at 5pm on Friday evening.

The BT60 postcode area is the latest part of the country to be brought under the restrictions, which already cover the greater Belfast area and Ballymena.

Areas affected include parts of Armagh city, Keady, Killylea and Markethill.

Check out our blog below to see how Friday's developments unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph