At least 37 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 due to a karaoke party on the outskirts of Limavady, it can be revealed.
Meanwhile, more than 100 people have been told to isolate themselves for 14 days after coming into contact with confirmed cases from the cluster.
There is some evidence that it can take up to two weeks for a person with Covid-19 to fall ill after coming into contact with the virus.
As a result, the 14-day isolation period is an important part of the government’s efforts to stop the virus from spreading, as it significantly reduces the chances of people who can get sick passing Covid-19 on to others.
The figures have been released by the Public Health Agency (PHA) as details of the coronavirus detection app in Northern Ireland launching this week.
Stop Covid NI will complement the existing telephone contact tracking program and is supported by the Executive. Northern Ireland will be the first part of the UK with a contact tracking app.
Health officials are working hard to prevent a second deadly wave of the virus, which has claimed more than 850 lives since its first arrival. However, concerns have been expressed about a lack of information on the location and size of emerging clusters, especially as Friday’s foreclosure needs to be interrupted.
Health officials have provided information about clusters to the public, but have so far only confirmed the location of the cluster resulting from the karaoke party.
The PHA has revealed that since the start of the Limavady cluster, 37 cases have been added to the contact discovery database, while 140 contacts have been identified.
The PHA declined to provide further information as it could lead to person identification.
This is despite increasing calls for clarity about the location of clusters so that the public, especially those most at risk of the virus, can take additional measures to protect themselves when active in their community.
Alliance party MLA Paula Bradshaw, member of the Stormont health committee, said: “I recognize the challenge for PHA to ensure patient confidentiality is guaranteed as part of the contact tracking process and we now have good evidence that contact tracking is fundamentally effective at identifying and monitoring clusters.
“Nevertheless, in the event of a public health emergency, we must also have public information so that the public can make decisions about how to carry out their daily lives safely.
“I would still like to see more information about the location of clusters immediately when they are identified, and about the nature of clusters in due course, so that we can clearly identify which specific activities are leading to ‘super spreading’.”
The foreclosure will stop on Friday for the 95,000 people who have been warned that their lives will be at risk if they fall ill with Covid-19.
As of Friday, they have received limited advice on what is safe, recommending that they should continue to work from home whenever possible.
At the same time, it appeared that 16 clusters have been identified here since 24 May and that more are expected in the coming months.