16 further deaths and 527 new Covid-19 cases in Northern Ireland

There are 775 patients with Covid-19 in hospital including 68 in ICU
16 further deaths and 527 new Covid-19 cases in Northern Ireland

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A further 16 people have died after testing positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Health also confirmed another 527 positive cases of the virus on Wednesday.

There are 775 patients with Covid-19 in hospital including 68 in ICU.

The figures come as it was announced that weekly Covid-19 testing is to be introduced for staff and pupils at special schools in the North next month.

A new technology called LAMP, a saliva-based test, is expected to be easier than swab testing for children.

Special schools have remained open during lockdown, while mainstream schools have closed in the effort to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Education Minister Peter Weir said he has heard calls for additional measures to support special school staff and students.

“The nature of special schools means that social distancing is difficult and it is important that staff are given every support possible to help them continue their vital and valuable work,” he said.

“Access to this testing programme will help provide additional reassurance to teaching staff, pupils and parents. I would encourage all staff and pupils to take the tests.” Health Minister Robin Swann described the testing method as a “significant development” in the effort against Covid-19.

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