4,022 new cases of COVID-19

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 4,022 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The Department of Health can confirm that five additional cases of the Omicron variant have been detected, bringing to six the total number of cases that have been identified following whole genome sequencing.

As of 8am today, 530 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 115 are in ICU.

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Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “There are now six confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in Ireland. A number of other probable cases are under investigation. Although this is a new variant, our early understanding gives us confidence that a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine will offer good protection against Omicron and Delta infection.

“Our current wave of disease continues to be driven by the Delta variant of COVID-19. We know that the public health measures we are so familiar with will break the chains of transmission of Delta, and we are confident they will work on Omicron.

“Please continue to layer up on the public health advice by getting vaccinated and boosted, reducing contacts, wearing masks, keeping distance, opening windows and cleaning hands regularly.

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“It is heartening to see the large numbers of people who attended walk-in vaccination centres today to receive their COVID-19 booster dose as soon as it became available to them.

“If you are eligible for a booster dose, then please do not wait until after Christmas to receive it. You will begin to receive the benefit of your booster protection within seven days of receiving your third dose. This means that anybody who receives their booster vaccine this week or next can be confident in the protection the booster will offer as we move closer to the Christmas period.

“If you are yet to receive a primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine, please make arrangements to do so. The HSE will be very happy to see you. If you have any concerns about receiving your COVID-19 vaccine, I encourage you to engage with the trusted health advice available on www.hse.ie, and with your own clinician.”

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RadioKerryNews – Radio Kerry

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