The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 21,302 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
As of 8am today, 884 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 90 are in ICU.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “For the second January in a row, a significant surge in infection from COVID-19 is having a major impact on essential services across all sectors, including the health service. As one of our key essential services – the education sector prepares to restart in person education this week, it is important that we continue to minimise, as much as we can, discretionary mixing indoors with people from other households."
“We saw a significant reduction in incidence of COVID-19 in primary school going children through December. However, given the very high and rising incidence of COVID-19 across all age groups in the community, it is inevitable that children will pick up this infection from household contacts in the days and weeks ahead. We also know, as a result, that there will be cases and outbreaks in schools and childcare settings. The Irish and international experience of the pandemic continues to give us reason to believe that schools are a lower risk environment for the transmission of COVID-19 and that the majority of children who are infected experience a mild form of this disease. It is also important to note that children between the ages of 5 – 12 are now eligible for vaccination. You can get more information on www.hse.ie.
“Children who have symptoms of COVID-19, or who live in a household where someone has received a positive or “detected” test result either on a PCR or an antigen test should not attend school.
“It is important that all of us continue to support schools, business owners, family and friends to keep to the spirit of public health advice. We must continue to restrict our movements to the greatest extent possible, by limiting the people we interact with from other households if we are to suppress transmission of COVID-19 and sustain our essential services.”