Irish public warned that "if you think that you have Covid, it's most likely that you have it"
Public told it's "absolutely running rife".
The Chief Executive of the Health Service Executive Paul Reid has said there is no doubt that Covid-19 is "absolutely running rife" in our communities.
It comes as demand for testing reaches unparalleled levels throughout the country with almost 50% of tests returned on Monday being positive along with 6,735 new cases confirmed even with testing capacity reduced significantly over the Christmas period.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland on Tuesday, Reid said: "If you think that you have Covid, it's most likely that you have it."
All 41 of the HSE's Covid-19 testing centres are fully operational after some were closed and others operated reduced hours over Christmas Day and St Stephen's Day.
250,000 PCR tests were carried out over the past week in Ireland with the majority of people receiving their results within one day.
However, with increased demand at the moment, the HSE has said it may lead to longer waiting times for results and urged people with symptoms and positive antigen tests to restrict their movements until they are at least 48 hours symptom free.
The vaccine portal for high-risk five to 11-year-old children opened on Tuesday morning for registrations.
This also includes children in this age group who live with a person considered higher risk, but are not considered his risk themselves.
The HSE said that all other children will become eligible to receive a vaccine from mid-January.
Main image via Leah Farrell / Photocall Ireland