Over 130 inpatients have caught COVID-19 in the Southern Trust's hospitals since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to figures available up to the end of March, a total of 133 people had a first positive coronavirus test 14 days or more after being admitted to hospital.
Meanwhile, between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 134 people tested positive between seven and 13 days after being admitted to Southern Trust hospitals.
Earlier this year the Chief Executive of the Southern Trust, Shane Devlin, said the area was at the “epicentre” of the pandemic in Northern Ireland.
A spokesman from the Department of Health told the Belfast Telegraph: “Healthcare associated infections can be acquired through different routes, including the potential for patient to patient, patient to staff or staff to patient spread, and also for environmental contamination.
“The risk of transmission of Covid-19 infection in healthcare settings has been significantly reduced through implementation of a range of mitigating measures — including strict adherence to infection prevention and control practices, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), frequent and thorough hand hygiene, and regular testing of staff and patients, including testing prior to admission.
“It is acknowledged that measures to reduce the risk of healthcare associated infection may have an impact on health and well-being — for example restricting visits by friends or family or reducing admissions during periods of increased risk.
“Northern Ireland's health and social care system remains committed to ongoing improvement, with a dedicated cell established by the Department of Health to support such organisations.”