Twenty-eight new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in County Kildare today, out of a national total of 764, as Dr Tony Holohan warned people who have been socialising in recent days to "consider your Christmas plans carefully".
Four additional deaths have been reported from the virus today.
Of the cases notified today; 403 are men / 355 are women; 67% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 34 years old. There have been 284 cases in Dublin, 70 in Limerick, 52 in Donegal, 44 in Cork, 37 in Wexford and the remaining 277 cases are spread across another 20 counties.
As of 2pm today, 233 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 29 are in ICU. 15 additional hospitalisations have occurred in the past 24 hours.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, the Department of Health said: “Every indicator of disease severity is moving in the wrong direction, more rapidly than we had anticipated. We have particularly strong concerns about the prospect of inter-generational mixing around the festive season. On 11th December, the 7-day incidence rate for people aged 19-44 was 106 per 100,000 population. By yesterday this rate had more than doubled to 217 per 100,000. If these younger people come into contact with their loved ones over the age of 65, we could see a spike in infections in this more vulnerable group. This would lead to very a serious pattern of disease, hospitalisations, ICU admissions and unnecessary deaths.
“If you have been socialising in the past few weeks or over this weekend, consider your Christmas plans carefully. Is it responsible to meet with your family over 65 later this week, if you have not kept your contacts low? Should you cancel your plans? We have the very real prospect of Covid-19 vaccines on the horizon. Ensure that your loved ones stay alive to receive them, by keeping your distance from them if you have not restricted your movements to this point. As difficult as it may seem, staying away from older family this Christmas will protect them - and it would be an exceptional sacrifice made for the common good.”