The Department of Health has reported 1,978 new cases of COVID-19 this afternoon.
A total of 221 people with the virus are in hospitals across the country, of whom 43 are in intensive care units.
Deputy Chief Medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said that over 10,000 cases have been reported in the last week and that there is high incidence in Donegal, Monaghan, Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Louth and Cavan in particular.
“In addition, while incidence is particularly high in those aged 16-29 years, incidence is now rising across all age groups,” he said.
“While vaccination has very positively impacted on the proportion of positive cases who end up in hospital or critical care, the current high and increasing incidence will nevertheless result in a significant number of people getting very sick with COVID-19.
“At the peak of the second wave in October we had 47 people in critical care. Today we have 43, with 8 new admissions in the last 24 hours.”
Dr Glynn said that vaccines work, but they must also be supported by all of us continuing to follow the public health advice to keep each other safe and break the chains of transmission of COVID-19.
“If you plan to socialise this weekend, risk assess your plans,” he said.
“Try to meet up in small groups, meet outdoors and avoid crowds if possible. Wear a mask where appropriate, wash your hands, manage your contacts and maintain your social distance.
“If you are in an environment that feels unsafe then leave. Remember that if you have any cold or flu like symptoms at all, self-isolate – do not meet up with others or go to work – and arrange a test.”