Suspected locations of COVID-19 transmission

Mark Houston made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health (Northern Ireland)

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Department of Health (Northern Ireland) did not have the information requested.

Dear Department of Health (Northern Ireland),

The Executive has suggested that the reason for implementing new restrictions on visiting private households is because the recent increase in Covid-19 cases is attributable to virus transmission being more prevalent in domestic rather than public settings such as pubs or restaurants.

For example the Belfast Telegraph reported on 10th September: "Mrs Foster said the spread of Covid-19 was happening in households. Insisting that the "villain is in our households" and not in businesses"

The Executive press release of 21st September also stated: "The restrictions on domestic settings is a proportionate measure at this time – the risk of the virus spreading is greater in unregulated environments."

Given the First Minister's public statements, I assume that contact tracing statistics have demonstrated that domestic settings are the primary source of virus transmission. However, such data does not appear to be available on the online Covid-19 dashboard.

Therefore, my FOI request is as follows:

Please provide a breakdown of the location of transmission/infection for cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland from 1st September 2020 to 21st September 2020.

Please see example format below (my list is not exhaustive, please add more categories if I have omitted any).

Location of transmission/infection - Number of Cases
Pubs -
Restaurants -
Workplaces -
Private households -
Shops -
Schools -
Hospitals -
Care homes -

I trust this request is clear, I am not sure of the exact terminology used in contact tracing so I am content for this to be interpreted as "suspected location" if necessary.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Houston

DoH FOI, Department of Health (Northern Ireland)



I can only apologise for the length of time it has taken to respond to
your request for information (below).


I have spoken to the business area I believed may have been responsible
for answering your request but unfortunately they have informed me that
they do not hold this information.


However they have suggested that the Public Health Agency (PHA) may hold
it and I attach a link to their website [1]here


Alternatively you may find information on the Department’s Covid19
dashboard, [2]here, which is updated daily


I hope this is helpful, but please come back to me if you need anything




Jeff Burns

Information Management Branch

Department of Health



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