The number of new daily Covid-19 infections reported in the State has fallen below 1,000 for the first time in almost three months.
A further 892 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19, according to data released by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) on Monday.
The latest figures mark the first time daily cases have fallen below 1,000 since July 15th, when 994 new infections were reported.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly hailed the tally as a “significant milestone”, though he noted that Monday’s figures are often lower than on other days.
“Overall, the figures for cases, hospitalisations and ICU admissions are stable. In the context of opening up in society, stable is encouraging.”
On Monday morning, 333 people were in hospital who have tested positive for the virus. There were 64 people in intensive care with Covid-19.
The five-day moving average, according to the HPSC, is 1,172.
Almost 94 per cent of the adult population has had at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, Mr Donnelly also pointed out.
Meanwhile, incidence of Covid-19 among children has fallen, and is now lower than it was in mid-August, before schools re-opened.
However, incidence in adults may be trending upwards as they return to work and higher education, according to National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) member Prof Philip Nolan.
Overall, the incidence of the disease is stable but the picture is stable, he said, writing on Twitter.
The number of children aged between five and 12 years admitted to hospital is low – fewer than three a week – and did not increase as school re-opened, he said.
“It may have decreased, [BUT]we need to allow for delayed admissions,” he said.
The number of people in hospital and ICU is stable or increasing slowly. “Incidence is higher overall than we would like, and represents a risk,” according to Prof Nolan.
A further three deaths with Covid-19 were reported by Northern Ireland's Department of Health on Monday, and 1,080 new positive cases of the virus.
A total of 338 people are being treated in hospital in Northern Ireland for Covid-19, with 37 in intensive care.