Health officials have announced a further 4,607 COVID cases this evening.
This morning there were 579 COVID-19 patients in hospital – down 15% on this day last week but up 13 on yesterday.
There were 115 in intensive care – 11 fewer than last week and two fewer than yesterday.
The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said the high figures continue to have a significant impact on our health service.
“We are still seeing a concerning number of people who are in hospital and require critical care for COVID-19,” he said. “This wave of infection is driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19.
“We know that the news of the Omicron variant is causing some concern; however, we also know how to break the chains of transmission of COVID-19. These measures have worked against previous variants of COVID-19, they can successfully supress transmission of the Delta variant and we are optimistic that they will work against the Omicron variant.
“If you are socialising, think about the risk associated with the activities you have planned. Remember the simple steps you can take to keep both you and the people you meet with safe:
- Wear a mask correctly
- Meet outside if possible
- Avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces
- Practise good hand and respiratory hygiene
“Be mindful of your contacts in the days after socialising and especially consider anyone you meet who may be immunocompromised or vulnerable to COVID-19,” he said.
“It is vital that if you experience and symptoms of COVID-19 that you isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test – not an antigen test.”
Dr Holohan said more than 10,000 people came forward to get their first vaccine dose last week.
“This is great news, and we would encourage anyone yet to receive a first dose to come forward for vaccination as soon as possible,” he said.
“We are now offering a third booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all those aged 16-years and older. Please prioritise your booster vaccine appointment as soon as you are called for it.
“We have seen encouraging signs in the decreasing levels of infection among those age groups that have received their booster dose and so, the importance of coming forward cannot be overstated.
I would also like to note that the seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine is still available to adults and children and I encourage people of all ages to avail of it.”