A doubling in household visits since the start of February has been cited as the reason for Covid-19 cases numbers persisting at the current level.
One in 10 people visited another household for social reasons in the second week of March, up from one in 20 at the start of February according to deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) found that the majority of these visits involved time spent indoors.
“While this clearly demonstrates the vast majority of people are sticking with the public health guidance, it does represent a significant change versus January,” Dr Glynn said.
A “small slippage” in the level of household visiting, along with a rise in contacts and mobility, has contributed to the numbers.
“Please continue to stick with the public heath advice and avoid visiting other homes at this time — do not give this virus the opportunities it is seeking to spread.”
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed that the backwards contact tracing of positive Covid-19 cases will be extended from two to seven days next week.
HSE head of contact tracing Dr Greg Martin said moving from two days to seven will lead to more cases being identified.
Three further Covid-19 related deaths and 606 additional cases have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland today.
Of the deaths reported today, two occurred in March and one in February.
There has now been a total of 4,631 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.
As of midnight Wednesday, March 24th, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has been notified of 606 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
There is now a total of 232,758 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Of the cases notified today:
- 298 are men/305 are women.
- 75 per cent are under 45 years of age.
- The median age is 33 years old.
- 249 cases are in Dublin, 57 in Donegal, 39 in Kildare, 32 in Meath, 31 in Louth and the remaining 198 cases are spread across all other counties.
As of 8am today, 312 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 75 are in ICU. 24 additional Covid-19 cases have been reported in Irish hospitals in the past 24 hours.
As of March 22nd, 690,449 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland:
- 503,796 people have received their first dose.
- 186,653 people have received their second dose.