The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed there have been 2,975* newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, while, as of 8am today, 551 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 89 are in ICU.
There has now been a total of 5,566* deaths related to COVID-19 notified in Ireland. This includes 74 deaths newly notified in the past week (since last Wednesday).
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “A pandemic can be a long and exhausting experience and I am aware that we are all tired of this virus – but the reality is that the virus is here and is circulating at too high a level.
“The virus moves when we are in close contact with a Covid positive person. This person could be a family member, a friend, a colleague or a stranger. It could be someone with no symptoms who is fully vaccinated.
"The action needed now is for all of us to reduce our social contacts and give the virus less opportunity to spread. Reduce the people you intend to meet this week by half. If we all do this collectively, we can suppress current levels of infection.”
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “The high incidence of COVID-19 in the community is concerning but there are simple steps we can take to protect ourselves from COVID-19.
“Firstly, COVID-19 vaccines are providing excellent protection against the serious effects of COVID-19 and if you are yet to come forward for vaccination, you can still do so in your local pharmacy, GP or by booking online.
“When around other people from outside your household, whether you know them or not, be sure to layer up on your protection by wearing a face covering, washing/sanitizing your hands frequently, keeping your distance, meet up outdoors where possible, and ensure indoor spaces are well ventilated. You have the power to protect yourself and stop the onward spread.”
Professor Karina Butler, Chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee said: “Each week, we are continuing to see people who have not received any dose of COVID-19 vaccine come forward for their vaccine. We are delighted to see this and I would encourage anyone who is yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to do so as soon as possible. Our vaccination clinics across the county are open and ready to welcome you.
“If you are pregnant, please be assured that the benefits to you and to your baby of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risks. If you have concerns, then speak to your trusted clinician - be that your GP, obstetric team or midwife. They are the people most familiar with your medical background and are in the best position to offer advice particular to your own situation.”
Dr. Cillian De Gascun, Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory and Medical Virologist said: “As we socialise indoors more often over the winter months it is important to be aware of how COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses spread and how you can limit the risk of transmission. Ventilation is very important if socialising indoors – ensure windows are open and air is circulating. Keep social distance of 2m where possible and use face coverings. All of this combined with vaccination, hand hygiene and the suite of public health behaviours will protect you and limit the spread of infection.”
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