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Current COVID-19 R number estimate for Northern Ireland

The Department of Health continues to publish the Covid-19 reproduction number on a weekly basis.

The current estimate of R is around 1.5

Last week the estimate was 1.2

  • Average number of new positive tests per day last 7 days: 144.9

  • 7 day incidence based on new positive tests: 53.4 / 100k

  • 14 day incidence based on new positive tests: 85.9 / 100k

  • 7 day average of total tests (pillar 1 and 2) which are positive: 2.78%  

  • First COVID +ve hospital admission in last week: 18

  • 7 day average number COVID occupied hospital beds: 29.0

Commenting on the figures the Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Ian Young said:

“Over the last week, there has been a marked increase in cases along with a progressive rise in COVID hospital patients, although the latter remains at a low level presently.  R is definitely above 1, both for cases and hospital admissions.  Of particular note is the number of cases in individuals aged >60 yrs which has risen to 125 from 92 in just seven days; in addition, the number of COVID inpatients increased by one third over the same period, and while remaining at a relatively low level is clearly trending upwards.

“The current increase in cases should be viewed as the precursor of increasing cases in the over sixties with resulting pressure on the hospital system and increasing deaths, as has been observed in many European countries including France and Spain. Community transmission also remains widespread, associated with multiple small clusters rather than a small number of larger outbreaks.

“This sharp rise in both positive cases and hospital admissions is clearly very worrying hence the need for the new restrictions, but if we act now and follow the public health advice closely we have a chance of seeing these numbers decrease in the following weeks.”