We would like to again assure the public that plans are in place to deal with a positive test for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland when it occurs.
It is also inevitable that a number of people will continue to be tested on a precautionary basis in the weeks ahead and it is important to keep these tests in perspective. A test does not mean that a positive result is expected or likely.
As of 6 February, a total of 566 tests were concluded across the UK, of which 563 were confirmed negative and 3 positive.
Different precautionary measures are taken as part of the testing protocols. This can include protective clothing for health and social care staff – for their protection and protection of the wider public.
Again, the use of protective clothing should not be taken as an indication that a positive test is expected.
Northern Ireland health authorities do not intend to comment publicly on each case where a person is being tested. There are patient confidentiality issues to consider, particularly when small numbers of people are involved. There is also a need to avoid undue alarm or speculation. This situation will be kept under review.
When a positive test for Covid-19 occurs in Northern Ireland, the Chief Medical Officer will make a statement confirming the result and reiterating advice to the general public.
While there can be no room of complacency, it is important to stress that NI’s health service is well-prepared and used to managing infections. We are working and liaising closely with colleagues in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland and that co-operation will continue.
Notes to editors:
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