The rate of Covid cases in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area has doubled in recent days.
A new mobile test centre opened in the city yesterday as concerns continue to grow about the high number of local cases.
The Derry News has also learned that the Public Health Agency is worried about the low uptake of Covid vaccinations in some areas of Derry, which they believe may be a factor in the high number of positive cases.
As a result, a new focus will be placed on the local area this week in a bid to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
The latest figures released by the Department of Health show that there were 226 positive Covid cases reported in the Derry and Strabane area during the seven-day period from June 11 to June 17.
This is in comparison with 112 positive cases in Derry and Strabane in the previous seven-day period from June 4 to June 10.
The current rate of Covid cases in the local council area is 150 per 100,000 of the population.
This is by far the highest rate of the 11 councils in Northern Ireland.
During the period from June 11 to June 17, a total of 3,776 people received a Covid test in the Derry and Strabane council area.
The latest figures show that the vast majority of positive Covid cases in the Derry and Strabane council area are among young people.
Of the 226 recent cases reported in the local area, 99 of them involve young people in the 0-19 age group.
A further 87 cases were reported in the 20-39 age group.
There were 33 cases reported in Derry and Strabane among people aged between 40 and 59.
There were seven cases reported in the 60 to 79 age group.
During this period, there were no positive cases in people aged over 80.
The new Covid mobile test centre opened yesterday within the grounds of Glendermott church at Church Brae in the Waterside.
The centre will be open each day from 9am to 3pm and appointments can be booked through the normal channels.
There is another mobile test centre at Templemore Sports Complex in Derry.
The Chief Medical Officers CMO) in Northern Ireland and Ireland, Michael McBride and Dr Tony Holohan, issued an appeal about cross-border journey at the weekend after meeting to discuss the current Covid situation cross the island.
Following the meeting, the CMOs said people who are intending to travel across the border over the coming days to be alert to the epidemiological situation in the relevant local areas and to ensure that they avoid activities which could place them or their families at risk of infection.
In particular, the CMOs highlighted their growing concern with regard to the Delta variant and advised that everyone should remain careful and continue to follow the public health advice.
“Now is a time for continued caution in order to maintain the progress made to date in each jurisdiction, until more people are fully vaccinated,” said Dr McBride and Dr Hoolahan in a joint statement.
“People who are not yet protected through vaccination should remain extra vigilant, avoid crowds or large events, meet up with others outdoors where possible and come forward for testing if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19.”
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