1,145 new cases reported
Peter Weir expects large number of GCSE and A-Level exam appeals in summer
Scroll down to see how Wednesday unfolded
Visits to general medical wards at hospitals in Northern Ireland will not be permitted from this Friday, Health Minister Robin Swann has confirmed.
Mr Swann, speaking at an Executive press conference on Wednesday, said that the move has been taken due to the continued prevalence of the virus in our communities.
"In response to the levels of transmissions across the country, the four UK chief medical officers recommended that we now move into alert level 5," he said.
⚠️ COVID-19 Update - Health Minister Robin Swann, Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride and Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Ian Young
Follow today's live updates here: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-northern-ireland-19-further-deaths-and-1145-new-cases-reported-39963452.htmlPosted by Belfast Telegraph on Wednesday, January 13, 2021
"This impacts on the implementation of visiting guidance in all care settings across NI. So today unfortunately I can confirm that my department has produced revised visiting guidance which will be placed on the departmental website and which the trusts will be highlighting locally.
"Whilst there are areas where I have been assured visiting will still be permitted- that will be such as our hospices and our care homes- visits to general medical wards will no longer be permitted."
Mr Swann said the new visiting policy will be implemented from this Friday and will be kept under review.
However, the UUP MLA added that Northern Ireland has now vaccinated more than 100,000 people, with 91,419 people having received their first dose.
He said that 458 care homes out of 483 have received their first doses and that close to 20% of all over 80s have received their first jab.
It comes after a further 19 people in Northern Ireland have died after testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the death toll to 1,517.
Each of the deaths occurred within the reporting period between 10am on January 12 and 10am on January 13, the Department of Health confirmed.
Another 1,145 people have also tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections since the pandemic began to 91,809.
The are 869 Covid patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland, with 56 in intensive care and 40 requiring ventilation.
Hospitals are at 99% occupancy. A total of 142 care homes are dealing with outbreaks of the virus.
Here's how Wednesday unfolded:
Stormont ministers have slammed "selfish" business owners for continuing to ask their employees to go to work when they could be working from home and for staying open despite the current coronavirus regulations.
Northern Ireland Premium
Peter Weir faced a barrage of questioning from Stormont’s Education Committee on Wednesday as concerns continued over exams, remote learning and the safety of special schools remaining open.