Ireland has recorded its highest number of new Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.
Donegal has also recorded its highest daily total – with 85 new cases confirmed in the county.
NPHET has this evening announced 1,546 new cases were confirmed in the Republic up to midnight Monday and nine additional deaths.
Of the new cases announced today, 444 are in Dublin, 203 in Cork, 111 in Louth, 87 in Limerick, 85 in Donegal and the remaining 616 cases are spread across all other counties.
Northern Ireland’s Department of Health also reported a record high today, with 1,566 new cases detected in the region.
Dr Tony Holohan, Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer said: “We have reached a significant milestone in our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland, with the launch of our national vaccination programme. To see the first recipients of the vaccine gives us hope for better times ahead, particularly for those of us who are the most vulnerable to the virus, including those over 70 and with underlying medical conditions. The vaccination programme will focus on the priority groups in line with the recent decisions of Government in the first instance.
“As the vaccination programme rolls out, particularly given the increasing spread of the disease and the concerning rise in the number of hospitalisations – up to 411 today – we each need to remember to remain vigilant to the ongoing risk of the spread of COVID-19 and follow the public health advice in our everyday lives. Following the public health advice is our only means to suppress the spread of the virus in the community. You are protecting yourself and your family from this highly infectious virus every time you wash your hands, wear a face covering, keep a 2m distance, reduce your social contacts and stay at home if you feel unwell.”