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Department of Health updates on current COVID-19 R rate in NI

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

The current estimate of R is 1.1 - 1.6 (last week’s R rate was estimated at 1.0 -1.6)

  • Average number of new positive tests per day last seven days - 66.3 

  • Seven day incidence based on new positive tests - 24.4 / 100k population

  • 14 day incidence based on new positive tests - 45.3 / 100k population

  • Seven day average of total tests (pillar 1 and 2) which are positive - 1.45%

  • First COVID +ve hospital admission in last week - 17

  • Seven day average number COVID occupied hospital beds - 21.0

The above indicators generally show a further increase in transmission in the last week. The seven day rolling average for new cases has increased as has test positivity. Main concerns are currently in relation to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon (partly explained by a hospital cluster) and Belfast, where no predominant cluster has been identified.


Fourteen day cases per 100k remain higher than the UK as a whole and ROI. 

This is likely to be partly explainable by increased testing in the context of the Test / Trace / Protect service.  However, there is also likely to be a more widespread increase in community transmission which is a matter of significant concern. 

At present around 10% of identified cases are in the over 60’s, whereas at the peak of the epidemic 40 – 50% of identified cases were in this age group.  As a result, hospital admissions are increasing very slowly but are still at a low level in comparison to the first wave when there was a comparable number of cases. 

The view from both the Modelling Group and the Strategic Intelligence Group is that they will inevitably rise if cases continue to do so.