A further 1,627 COVID cases have been announced this evening.
This morning, there were 415 patients in hospital – a 17% increase on this day last week.
There were 70 in intensive care, which is one more than last week.
In a statement, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned that the virus is now on the rise across all age groups – including the elderly.
‘’Unfortunately, we have seen increases across key indicators of COVID-19 right across the country and the growth rate of the epidemic has accelerated in recent days,” he said.
“All indicators of COVID-19 are pointing towards a deteriorating disease trajectory nationally.
“We are seeing an increase in incidence in all age groups, including older age groups. The national incidence is now 415/100,000.
“As a result, we are seeing an impact on our hospital system with an average of 50 people being admitted to hospital per day - up from 35 per day at the end of September - and five admissions to intensive care per day.”
He warned that while the vaccine gives very good protection, the high incidence rate of the disease will lead to breakthrough cases among the vaccinated.
“Most people’s experience of infection will be mild, but some will end up in hospital and intensive care,” he said. “We want to avoid that.
“Please continue to protect yourself by adhering to the public health advice. This will stop the spread and drive down incidence of COVID-19 in our communities.
“If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 including a high temperature, dry cough, or flu-like symptoms, please get a test and stay at home. Do not go to work, school, college or socialise. This applies even if you are fully vaccinated – please do not assume that because you are vaccinated you can’t get COVID-19.
“Continue to regularly wash hands, wear a mask when appropriate – particularly in retail settings, on public transport and in healthcare settings; keep your distance, open windows and ventilate indoor spaces, and choose outdoors where possible for meeting others.
“You should follow this advice regardless of your vaccination status.’’