Another 51 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Donegal this New Year’s Eve.
NPHET has this evening reported 12 more deaths and 1,620 new cases nationwide.
There have been 847 new cases of the virus in Donegal in the past two weeks.
The incidence rate now stands at 553.9 per 100,000, while the national 14-day incidence rate is 296.7 per 100.000.
As of 2pm this afternoon, there are 490 Covid-19 patients in Irish hospitals, including 42 people in ICU. An additional 58 hospitalisations took place in the past 24 hours.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “We are once again in the mitigation stage of this pandemic. The alarming escalation in the incidence of the virus in the general population gives great cause for concern. This disease is now widespread in our communities and as a result we are asking everyone to behave as if they are a close contact.
“To support the testing system through this surge, we are no longer advising close contacts of confirmed cases to get tested. Testing and tracing is an exercise in containment and we are no longer in a containment phase. However, it is imperative that if you are a close contact of a confirmed case you restrict your movements and contact your GP immediately if you develop symptoms.
“The average number of contacts per case has risen from 2.5 in November to an average in recent days of 6.3. This is very far from where we need to be and I am appealing to everyone at every age to adhere to the mandated restrictions that the government has introduced – stay at home, except for essential reasons, other than for exercise up to 5km.”