Three more deaths of patients who tested positive for Covid-19 have been reported in Northern Ireland.
The health ministry said there were also 1,467 new confirmed cases in the last 24-hour reference period.
A total of 2,343,361 vaccines were administered.
As of Wednesday morning, there were 321 Covid-positive patients in the hospital, including 40 in intensive care.
Wednesday’s figures are accompanied by a call for vigilance.
The rates of Covid-19 infection in Northern Ireland are currently the highest in the UK.
The latest data, for the seven days to August 1, show the region’s infection rate to be 445.3 per 100,000 population.
This rate is almost twice as high as in England (282.1) and more than three times as high as in Scotland (143.6) and Wales (141.5).
The Public Health Agency has urged anyone with symptoms of the virus to come for a test.
The agency’s Dr David Cromie said it was essential that everyone do everything possible to stop the spread of Covid-19.
“This is a serious illness and people are still dying or getting very sick,” he said.
âWe need everyone to continue to follow public health advice, get tested if they are symptomatic, and engage with the Contact Tracing Center (CTS) if they are positive for Covid-19.
âIf you have not yet received your Covid-19 vaccine, make arrangements to get it as soon as possible, as the vaccine will help you avoid becoming seriously ill with Covid-19, and will also help keep people safe. vulnerable members of our community. . “
He described the tests as a “vital tool” in the fight against the virus.
“If you are symptomatic, please isolate yourself and get tested, as there is no way to know if you have Covid-19 if you do not get tested, and that also means we cannot alert your contacts. loved ones, âhe said.
âThe tests are available at various locations in Northern Ireland. The CTS always calls positive cases, so expect to be contacted by one of the CTS team members if you test positive.
“Please respond when we call and, if you can, complete the digital self-trace using the unique code that will be sent to you, so that we can quickly alert your close contacts and help stop the spread.”
Dr Cromie also reminded the public to follow health advice, including social distancing, hand washing and the use of a face covering where appropriate.
âVaccination is an important way to ensure protection against infection with Covid-19,â he said.
âThe number of people eligible for the vaccine continues to increase, so if you haven’t received your first dose yet, do it now.
âWe understand that some may be nervous about getting the Covid-19 vaccine because there is a lot of misinformation and it is very easy to be put off by the stories you read online.
âHowever, the vaccine is safe and it will help you avoid getting seriously ill if you contract Covid-19.
âIf you have any concerns, discuss those concerns with a healthcare provider and get the facts about the vaccine from a trusted source such as PHA.
For more information on testing, contact tracing and vaccination against Covid-19, see www.pha.site/coronavirus