The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has today been notified of 1,631 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
As of 8am today, 503 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 101 are in ICU.
There has been a total of 5,436 deaths related to Covid-19 notified in Ireland. This includes 67 deaths newly notified in the past week (since last Wednesday).
Dr. Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, Department of Health said: 'Incidence of Covid-19 is increasing at a concerning rate. The seven day moving average is now 2,043, up from 1,138 only three weeks ago. Incidence is increasing across all age groups, highest in those aged 5-12 years.
A combination of higher levels of social contact, a move to socialisation indoors and a collective relaxing of basic public health behaviours combined has led to this surge of infection.
The importance of individual, institutional and sectoral attention to risk mitigation is crucial at this point. I encourage all of us to ensure we are following basic public health advice and to expect the presence of infection prevention control measures in settings we visit.'
Dr. Ronan Glynn, deputy chief medical officer, Department of Health said: 'There is no one intervention that will protect you and those around you from contracting Covid-19. We need a multi-layered approach to this disease, using all the tools we have at our disposal; vaccination, wearing a face mask, well ventilated spaces indoors, hand hygiene and cough etiquette, social distancing when appropriate and isolating at the onset of symptoms. These measures combined are the most effective way you can protect yourself and loved ones from Covid-19.'
Professor Breda Smyth, director of Public Health, HSE West, HSE: 'Incidence is growing across the population. High community incidence threatens all settings. A particular concern is for environments with vulnerable people, such as nursing homes, hospital and care environments and long term residential facilities. High community transmission poses a substantial risk to this population. A combined effort to reduce incidence is needed to protect the most vulnerable.'
Dr. Deirdre Robertson, Behavioural Research Unit, ESRI; 'The population are quite good at recognising that meeting more people and going to different types of locations increases the risk of spreading and catching COVID-19. The data suggests they are less likely to recognise that taking precautionary measures like wearing masks and keeping socially distanced decreases the risk, and those preventive behaviours have been gradually decreasing since the start of the year.'