Northern Ireland’s coronavirus reproduction “R” number range has risen above 1 – suggesting transmission is accelerating.
The Northern Ireland government said its current estimate of R is 0.7 to 1.1.
This is the highest value since its Department of Health started releasing its weekly estimates on 4 June.
On 2 July, Northern Ireland’s R was as low as 0.3 to 0.8.
R values are important in guiding government decision making relating to COVID-19.
If R is below 1, it means that on average, an infected person will infect fewer than one other person, meaning the number of new cases will fall over time.
If it is above 1, it means the rate of infection is accelerating.
Announcing the latest R number on Thursday, the Northern Ireland government added: “At present, R will show a high degree of volatility and be heavily influenced by small local clusters, and is therefore not the key indicator for policy decisions.”
As of Thursday, there had been 5,876 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Northern Ireland, with 556 deaths.