There have been a further 3,138 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed today.
s of this morning, there were 643 people with Covid-19 in hospitals, of which 118 are in ICU – both figures remaining unchanged in the past 24 hours.
The national 14-day incidence now stands at 1216.8 cases per 100,000 people.
Close to 700 people have been hospitalised with the virus in the last two weeks, while 967 healthcare workers have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past fortnight.
There are more than 4,400 healthcare staff out of work due to having the virus or being symptomatic close contacts of positive cases.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said earlier today on social media that the incidence of Covid-19 is currently very high and rising with over 60,000 cases recorded within the last fortnight alone.
‘Our modelling suggests that we will record upwards of 200,000 cases of Covid-19 in December alone.
“But that is not inevitable. These people have not yet been infected, and together, we can avoid this case load and ensuing impact on the health service.”
He said that the entire health system is stretched.
“We are all understandably very, very tired of this pandemic. Time and again we have asked you to take on board public health messaging and act for the collective good. And time and again, the vast majority have listened to that message and responded.”
He said they were asking people to heed public health advice once again.
“If you have any symptoms of Covid-19, you should stay at home, self-isolate and get a PCR test.”
Separately, he said over 2m people now fall within the guidance for booster vaccination and he urged people to come forward once they are invited and avail of it. ‘Do not delay, do not prioritise other events or appointments.’
“The next few weeks will be difficult for everybody but by sticking with these basic measures, we can avoid the worst impacts of this current wave, and ensure that we continue to protect to the greatest extent possible those who are most vulnerable within our communities,” he said.
“We all now need to prioritise who we need to see. This means working from home unless it is necessary to be in the workplace,” Dr Glynn said.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that “All of us who are household contacts of a confirmed case need to restrict our movements and stay at home for five days.”