On Wednesday’s dashboard update, the Department says five deaths occurred in the last 24 hours, and one outside of this reporting period.
This rise brings the total number of deaths linked to the virus in Northern Ireland to 1,311.
And the Department’s data also shows a daily rise in positive cases by 2,143 – bringing the total of positive cases to 70,905.
As of 2pm on Wednesday, December 30, there are 35 patients in ICU who have tested positive for coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Robin Swann announced the news that a second Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use in the UK.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine had been approved, just weeks after the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination programme had started.
Now the Department of Health has said it means GPs in Northern Ireland can begin the first phase of population vaccination from January 4, starting with those aged 80 years and over.