The Department of Health has confirmed a total of 3,498 new cases of Covid-19 and 50 additional deaths.
All of these deaths occurred in January and the median age of those who died is 82 years. The age range of those who died is 45 to 96 years. T There was no newly reported death in healthcare workers and no newly reported death in a young person under the age of 30.
There have now been a total of 2,536 Covid-19 related deaths and a total of 166,548 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Of the cases notified today, 421 were in Cork.
The 14-day incidence rate in Cork up to January 14 is 1590.6 and there have been a total of 8,635 cases reported in the county in the same 14-day period.
The remaining cases included 1,182 in Dublin, 258 in Limerick, 187 in Galway, 164 in Waterford, and the remaining 1,286 cases are spread across all other counties.
Of today's cases, 1,576 are men and 1,906 are women and 54% are under 45 years of age. The median age is 42 years old.
As of 2pm today, 1,850 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised of which184 are in ICU. There have been an additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said: "New variants of Covid-19 have recently been identified in Brazil, and in travellers to Japan from Brazil. There is no evidence of these variants in Ireland.
Anyone who has travelled from Brazil in the last 14 days is advised to self-isolate for 14 days, from the date of arrival, and identify themselves, through a GP, for testing as soon as possible.
“It is essential that anyone arriving from Brazil self-isolate for 14 days from the date of arrival before entering/re-entering the workplace. We are particularly appealing to employers to enable their employees to protect each other by staying at home for the full 14 days.
"Further risk assessment of the new variants is expected from the ECDC in the coming week. We must all continue to adhere to every element of the public health advice. This remains our best defence against Covid-19.”
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said: “We have worked exceptionally hard in recent weeks to reduce our close contacts. At the end of December, the number of close contacts per confirmed case peaked at approximately 6. That has now dropped to 2.3 contacts. This enormous effort is the reason we are seeing case numbers beginning to fall.
“We know that it is extremely difficult to keep our close contacts to a minimum, particularly over an extended period of time. But this is the main way we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from Covid-19. Again today, we are reporting the highest number of people with Covid-19 to date in our hospitals. We must stay home to protect ourselves and each other.”