Do families have to give permission for COVID-19 death statistics?

CLAIM: The Department of Health (England) needs the consent of families to release information of deceased relatives.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. While there has been a change in the timing of reporting of official statistics regarding the impact of COVID-19, there is no suggestion that family consent has any role in the registration of deaths or their statistical reporting. In Northern Ireland, the Public Health Agency has stated that all deaths are a matter of public record. Continue reading Do families have to give permission for COVID-19 death statistics?

Is there a plan to use Dundonald Ice Bowl as a morgue?

CLAIM: It is claimed on social media that Northern Ireland Government contingency plans for COVID-19 include turning Dundonald Ice Bowl into a morgue to store bodies temporarily. A common extension is that the SSE (Odyssey) Arena has also been earmarked as a contingency morgue.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The Department of Justice confirms that there are no plans to use either Dundonald Ice Bowl or the SSE Arena. The Justice Minister has stated that buildings on the Kinnegar site outside Holywood will be used as the Northern Ireland Temporary Resting Place if required. Continue reading Is there a plan to use Dundonald Ice Bowl as a morgue?

Misinformation and COVID-19

Misinformation and COVID-19
by Orna YOUNG for FactCheckNI
25 March 2020

We are living through a global health emergency in which the communication of misinformation and disinformation — or what has been termed “an infodemic” — will quite literally mean the difference between life and death. Never before has the quality and accuracy of the information we are consuming mattered on such an immediate and global scale. While social media platforms and communication apps must play their role in removing misinformation, individuals also have a responsibility to check what they are sharing. With this in mind, FactCheckNI have put together a guide to accessing information on COVID-19. Continue reading Misinformation and COVID-19

Michael Davitt GAC offered as a coronavirus field hospital?

CLAIM: The grounds of the Michael Davitt GAC, in Swatragh, County Londonderry, have been offered as a coronavirus field hospital.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. The Michael Davitt GAC has responded that while consultations are ongoing, no decision has been made or agreed with any other agency regarding the use of their grounds. Continue reading Michael Davitt GAC offered as a coronavirus field hospital?

Is Northern Ireland without funded childcare provision?

CLAIM: Northern Ireland remains the only UK jurisdiction without funded childcare provision.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. The Northern Ireland Government funds the provision of pre-school education, which in the rest of the UK, Ireland, and wider Europe is defined as “Early Childhood Education and Care”. Residents of Northern Ireland are also eligible for some UK-wide childcare subsidy schemes. Continue reading Is Northern Ireland without funded childcare provision?

Did DUP MPs vote against pay rises for nurses, firefighters, and police officers?

CLAIM: DUP MPs voted against a pay rise for nurses, firefighters, and police officers.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION: On 28 June 2017, all 10 DUP MPs voted against an amendment on the Queen’s Speech, to end the public sector pay cap. On 13 September 2017, Ian Paisley MP spoke in favour of the passed motion to lift the pay cap in the NHS. However, as a result of the devolved Agenda for Change arrangement, the agreed pay awards do not automatically extend to NHS nurses in Northern Ireland. Continue reading Did DUP MPs vote against pay rises for nurses, firefighters, and police officers?