The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 3,903 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and, as of 8am, 463 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 76 are in ICU.
'This is a very concerning figure and a stark reminder that this virus is highly contagious,' said Dr Tony Holohan the chief medical officer with the department of health.
'This is not a situation any of us want to be in, but our reality remains that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic.
'Ireland has been tracking ahead of other Western European countries when it comes to this fourth wave of the pandemic. We are now starting to see a rise in incidence across the continent in line with our own recent experience.
'There is some good news in that the number of people per 1,000 cases requiring hospitalisation and critical care as a result of Covid-19 infection has reduced as the average age of cases reducing and as a result of some early impact of the booster vaccination.
'While Covid-19 vaccines give good protection from serious illness and hospitalisation, we know that fully vaccinated people can still get and transmit the Covid-19 virus. However, if you are vaccinated, you are more likely than before to experience a mild form of the disease. This is the key difference between the situation we find ourselves in this winter compared to last.
'The best way we can protect ourselves and our vulnerable loved ones,' he added, 'is to ensure we receive a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to us, this includes booster doses.
'We must protect ourselves from Covid-19 as best we can by layering up on all elements of the public health advice. These are the tools we are all so familiar with - washing hands, covering coughs, wearing masks, choosing outdoor or well-ventilated indoor activities where possible and maintaining a social distance.
'When planning social occasions, please keep the public health advice in mind and feel empowered to leave if you do not feel safe.
'If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 do not meet up with others at school, work or socially - including in your own home. Self-isolate immediately and arrange a test.
'Finally, while it is wonderful to see the continued reopening of our society, it is important that we continue to be conscious of the vulnerable people in our lives. If you socialise, be mindful of your contacts in the days after, especially consider anyone you may meet who may be immunocompromised or vulnerable to Covid-19,' he said.