By Connor Stringer
A cluster of Covid-19 cases has been discovered in the Co Londonderry town of Limavady, Northern Ireland's Public Health Agency said.
It said: "At present we can link the cases to a social gathering in a private/residential setting."
Testing and contact tracing is being conducted to identify people who may be affected to help prevent any further spread.
It added: "With lockdown restrictions being eased, this type of occurrence is to be expected, which is why the Test, Trace and Protect programme is in place."
The Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer also commented on the identification of a Covid-19 cluster in the Limavady area.
Health Minister Robin Swann stated: “We have long anticipated and warned that clusters will happen.
“I want to commend colleagues in the Public Health Agency for the work they are doing in keeping people safe through the Test, Trace and Protect programme.
“I would once again urge everyone across Northern Ireland to guard against complacency. The virus is still present in our community and must never be underestimated.
“Please stick to social distancing at all times and keep washing your hands regularly with the same rigour as at the start of this pandemic.”
Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said: “Today’s news underlines once again that we have to keep up our guard against Covid-19.
“Social gatherings in private residences have been an issue on both sides of the border.
“We have made important strides forward against the virus, but we must always remember that we have a long way to go. We face a very uncertain next few months and the very real prospect of a very challenging autumn and winter.
“Please keep following the public health advice at all times. Stay safe and save lives. And make sure you avoid crowds, closed spaces and close contact when you are socialising.”
It comes as for the third day running, no new COVID-19 related deaths have occurred in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours, the Department of Health has revealed.
BREAKING: New coronavirus figures by the @healthdpt— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) July 16, 2020
📍For third day running, no new COVID-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours.
📍Death toll remains at 556.
📍16 new cases of COVID bringing total cases to 5,815. pic.twitter.com/YBjDJVYHZw
According to the department the death toll here remains at 556.
However, 16 new cases have also been detected in the province, bringing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases here to 5,815.
The current estimate of R is 0.5 – 1.0.
R represents the number of individuals who, on average, will be infected by a single person with the infection.
It does not have a fixed value but varies with time, and is likely to be different every day.
However, when community transmission of the virus is very low, R will not be the most important number for the purpose of policy decisions made by the Executive.