BREAKING: First new COVID-19 related deaths announced since 3rd July and 16 new cases of the virus since Friday

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By Peter Moor

Two new deaths related to COVID-19 has been announced here by the Department of Health.

They're the first new death to be reported since 3rd July.

The death toll linked to the virus therefore rises to 556.

These latest figures from the dashboard are the first to be released since Friday, after the Department stopped releasing data over the weekend.

This figure is lower than figures released on Friday by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)

They reported 839 COVID-19 related deaths here up to 3rd July.

NISRA figures relate to information entered on death certificates, completed by medical professionals.

They may or may not have previously tested positive for the virus.

Whereas. Department of Health figures are based on mainly hospital patients having previously tested positive for the virus

The data from the Department of Health dashboard also reveal 16 more people have tested positive for the virus here, since the dashboard was last updated on Friday.

There have now been 5,788 positive lab tests for COVID-19 in Northern Ireland.

The figures also show 12 care homes currently have confirmed outbreaks of COVID-19.

13 care homes have suspected outbreaks and 153 homes have closed outbreaks of the virus.

The figures also provide detail of capacity in Northern Ireland's hospitals.

It revealed that out of Northern Ireland's 96 intensive care unit beds, 1 is occupied by a patient with COVID-19.

64 of the beds are taken up by non COVID-19 related patients, providing 31 spare ICU beds.

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