COVID-19 UPDATE: Death toll increases by 44 as 335 outbreaks confirmed in residential care settings
Forty-four more people have died after contracting Covid-19 as 709 more cases of the coronavirus were confirmed this evening.
It brings the overall Covid-19 death toll to 530, the Department of Health said.
Meanwhile, the HSE’s Chief Operating Officer has said testing for both staff and residents will be enhanced in residential care settings after 335 outbreaks of coronavirus were confirmed in the sector.
Anne O’Connor also said there would also be extra staff redeployed where needed.
There are 196 nursing homes included in the 335 clusters which means Covid-19 has infected approximately 30% of all nursing homes in Ireland.
Ms O’Connor said “some but not all” of these homes are experiencing difficulties coping with the disease.
“We have redeployed 61 people to these centres. We have more work to do and we need to redeploy more. It’s a huge challenge for us. There is no doubt,” she said.
A further 18 people have died in Northern Ireland hospitals, bringing the overall hospital figure to 176 while 137 additional cases of Covid-19 were confirmed, taking the total there to 2,338.
Earlier, officials confirmed that Northern Ireland’s coronavirus death toll is around a third higher than previously reported.