The Chief Medical Officer is warning of a concerning trend as 765 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed today, and one additional death.
63 of the new cases are in Cork. This is down from yesterday's figure of 131 for the county but Dr Tony Holohan said the national numbers reflect lower rates of referrals and testing over Christmas
As of 2pm today, 359 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised in Ireland, of which 30 are in ICU. There have been 41 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours, with five additional admissions to ICU.
“The data we are reporting today are lower than days up to 26 December," Dr Holohan said. "This however results from factors related to the time of the year, such as the lower rates of attendance and referrals and presentation for testing for several days over Christmas."
"We look at many metrics when monitoring the disease severity of COVID-19. Today we are reporting that we have now exceeded the cumulative number of people hospitalised in this third wave than in the second. Hospitalisations have increased sharply in the last two days. This is a concerning trend which reflects the sharp increase incidence we saw in the last 10 days.
"We are also seeing a steep rise in the positivity rates in community testing with a seven day average of over 9.2 percent up from 5.2 percent on 18th December.
This is just one more reason why we are strongly advising everyone to stay safely at home to avoid transmitting or catching this virus, as it continues to circulate widely."
He asked anyone who feels unwell to come forward for testing.
"Know the symptoms of COVID-19, and do not delay in phoning your GP for advice," he said. "Self-isolate in your room if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath or change in sense of taste/smell. If you are a household contact of a confirmed case, restrict your movements until your household member receives a negative test result.
"In addition to staying at home except for essential reasons, these important individual actions will help to stop the exponential spread of COVID-19 in our communities and in turn protect the most vulnerable, our healthcare system and those who work on the frontlines.”
401 are men / 358 are women
70% are under 45 years of age
The median age is 33 years old
291 cases in Dublin, 63 in Cork, 59 in Monaghan, 49 in Louth, 43 in Meath, and the remaining 260 cases are spread across all other counties.