The number of new cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland has almost doubled in 24 hours.
Some 1,083 cases were notified by the department of health on Thursday, up from 636 on Wednesday.
This is the first time the daily case number has been over 1,000 since the peak of the third wave of the pandemic in mid January.
The average seven day incident rate per 100,000 people across Northern Ireland was 234 on Thursday.
Derry and Strabane had the highest rate at 372 followed by Belfast on 319 while Fermanagh and Omagh had the lowest rate at nine.
No further coronavirus-linked deaths were reported on Thursday leaving the toll at 2,159.
Meanwhile on Thursday morning there were 80 Covid-19 positive patients in hospital, with two in intensive care.
Earlier First Minister Paul Givan encouraged take up of the coronavirus vaccine as he received his second dose at the SSE Arena in Belfast.
He described the vaccine as key to escaping the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact on our lives.
Mr Givan described “strength in numbers” as important, adding: “the more people get vaccinated the better equipped we are collectively we are to fight this virus”.
To date, 2,145,799 vaccines have been administered.