A total of 6,000 hospital staff are off work in Ireland due to Covid-19.
The figure includes more than 180 staff at Letterkenny University Hospital who are unable to work due to positive Covid-19 cases or being close contacts of a positive case.
There are currently 98 patients with Covid-19 being treated at LUH, with five of those patients receiving critical care.
Hospital staff remain under severe pressure due to the Covid-19 situation nationwide, with half of those off work being nurses.
HSE national director of acute operations Liam Woods has warned that hospitals are very close to maximum capacity.
The latest data from the HSE reports 120 open Covid outbreaks in acute settings. In the week up to 17th of January, 442 patients had acquired Covid-19 in hospital settings.
Earlier this morning HSE CEO Paul Reid said that 66% of patients – 211 cases – in ICUs around the country have Covid-19. A further 300 patients are also receiving respiratory support outside of ICU.
“We’re battling hard to sustain safe levels of care but its getting harder,” Mr Reid said on Twitter.
Seán Murphy, General Manager Letterkenny University Hospital issued this appeal to the public yesterday, “COVID-19 ICU and hospitalisation numbers are of critical concern to us in light of the ongoing number of cases being diagnosed in the community.
“I would urge everyone to follow public health advice to stay at home, other than for essential reasons, the more we can drive down the spread of COVID-19 and minimise the impact on vital healthcare services, patients and frontline workers.”