A record 7,836 new confirmed coronavirus have been announced this evening.
Some 17 further deaths have also been announced taking the death toll to 2,299 and the total number of confirmed cases to 121,154.
This afternoon, a record 954 COVID-19 patients were being treated in Irish hospitals with 88 people in intensive care.
The 14-day rate of the virus in Ireland is now up to 819.1 cases per 100,000 people.
The seven-day incidence was 650.9 per 100,000 while the five-day moving average is now 5,524.
We have an opportunity as a country to come together and take action to turn the current situation around, so that we can limit the impact of #COVID19.
Your safe actions today will have a direct impact on our hospitals in the weeks to come.
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) January 6, 2021
The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said the country is now in a “serious phase of this surge of COVID-19.”
“There is evidence of an increasing presence of the UK variant in Ireland,” he said.
“All counties have an upward trajectory of the disease. There is concerning escalation of admissions to hospital and ICU. We are very likely to see escalating mortality and ICU admissions in the coming days and weeks.
“It has never been more important, throughout our experience of this pandemic, to stay home and only meet people outside of your household for essential purposes, always adhering to public health advice; physical distance, hand hygiene, cough/sneeze etiquette and wearing a face covering.”
Of the cases announced this evening, 2,263 were in Dublin, with 1,373 in Cork, 496 in Louth, 345 in Limerick, 340 in Meath and the remaining 3,019 spread across all other counties.
Monaghan still has the highest 14-day rate in the country 1638.8 cases per 100,000 people, with four other counties reporting rates above 1000.
Dublin is in sixth with 955.2 cases per 100,000.
Nearly one-quarter of the 28,368 tests processed yesterday came back positive.
Of the 171,931 tests carried out in the past week 21.8% came back positive.