Staff working at a Covid centre at the heart of a coronavirus hotspot are also caring for vulnerable patients, a whistleblower has revealed.
Health bosses are putting lives at risk by letting the employees also work in hospitals, surgeries and in the community, she said.
It comes as the Health Minister said Covid-19 centres had seen a near doubling in referrals in just one week.
A total of 733 people attended earlier this month compared with 427 the week before, Robin Swann announced.
According to the whistleblower, student doctors and nurses have been working in her unit and helping to assess patients suspected of having the virus throughout the summer.
They are now beginning clinical placements around across the province, potentially exposing staff and patients to the virus.
At the same time, nurses are working shifts at the centre, in GP treatment rooms and in the community, visiting patients too frail to leave their homes.
"It's absolutely nuts. It's so dangerous. You could have someone doing a shift in the centre one day and going out taking blood from a vulnerable patient, doing a vaccination clinic in a treatment room, or caring for a cancer patient the following day," the whistleblower said.
"I would be livid if it was one of my relatives. People need to know that it's happening because someone is going to die."
The nurse started working at a Covid centre after health officials appealed to medics for help in handling the coronavirus outbreak. The centres are specialist facilities for patients who need to see a GP but may have Covid-19.
The centre is one of the areas where local restrictions, such as people not being allowed to visit each other's homes, have been imposed because of an increase in the number of Covid cases.
The nurse said she was particularly alarmed by the situation at the coronavirus centre because of the number of patients being referred there.
"We've become so busy over the last couple of weeks. I've never worked as hard in my whole career as I have over the last four weeks," she added.
"The other day we had 25 appointments and five home visits. We're seeing a lot more very sick people who have Covid. We're seeing people across all age groups. It's affecting so many."
Mr Swann confirmed the rise yesterday in the Assembly. He also acknowledged that some doctors had expressed reticence about the centres but said the majority supported them.
He added: "It shows that they are providing a service that keeps the rest of GP practices open to those presenting with non-Covid symptoms."
One area of localised restrictions saw 65 suspected Covid patients in a recent week compared to 20 the week before, he said
A spokesman for the Department of Health said staff in Covid centres must follow robust infection control procedures. They are also provided with proper personal protective equipment.
"These procedures seek to protect staff whilst they are working in the centres while also protecting colleagues and patients when they are working in other settings," he added.
Yesterday there was one further death from Covid-19 reported in Northern Ireland, bringing the death toll recorded by the Department of Health to 571. There were also 79 new confirmed cases in the previous 24 hours.