Over 11,000 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed on Christmas Eve
It is the highest daily case count to date.
The Department of Health has confirmed 11,182 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland on Christmas Eve.
As of 8am on Friday morning, 393 patients are in hospital in relation to the virus.
Of those, 89 are in ICU.
A statement from the Department of Health noted that approximately 83% of reported cases are now due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Large volumes of case numbers are anticipated over the coming days.
Over 386,000 people have received a booster vaccine this week throughout the country.
In anticipation of large volumes of case numbers over the coming period the daily case number announced will be based on positive SARS-CoV-2 results uploaded to the HSE COVID Care Tracker the preceding day. These data are provisional.
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) December 24, 2021
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn noted that incidence of Covid-19 is increasing across all age groups.
"Given the level of virus now circulating, you should assume that you or those you meet are potentially infectious," he added.
Incidence of #COVID19 is now increasing across all age groups. Here are 5 things you can do to keep yourself & your loved ones as safe as possible
1⃣If you have even mild symptoms of a cold or 'flu then isolate & stay away from others#ForUsAll
— Dr Ronan Glynn (@ronan_glynn) December 24, 2021
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland programme on Christmas Eve, HSE Vaccination Lead Damien McCallion noted that the testing system is currently under a significant amount of strain.
As a result, anyone seeking a PCR test on Christmas Day and beyond may have difficulty due to a "slightly reduced" service.
"Although we've increased the capacity of our testing systems from 100,000 in September in PCR to 250,000 and 100,000 in antigen for close contacts – 350,000 in total – we are under pressure in the last 48 hours," McCallion said.
"Now, we will continue to operate through Christmas Day and St. Stephen's Day, albeit [at] slightly reduced service.
"What I would say, and I appreciate it is difficult for people, particularly coming into Christmas, the uncertainty in terms of perhaps waiting for a test on certain days in certain areas of the country – is the public health advice, unfortunately, still remains the same.
"If you're symptomatic in terms of seeking out a PCR test, you must wait until you're symptom-free for 48 hours before ceasing to restrict your movements."
McCallion acknowledged that this advice is "really difficult" with Christmas Day just hours away at this point.
"We all know people who tested positive in recent days, the difficulty that presents for family Christmases," he said.
"But unfortunately, that advice remains the same."