The Department of Health has been notified of 1,914 new confirmed cases of Covid-19.

There are 413 patients in hospital, which is down two since yesterday, while 73 are in ICU, up three.

There have been 11,755 confirmed cases in the past seven days.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer has advised people to work from home where possible as Ireland moves into the autumn and winter period.

In a video on Twitter, Dr Ronan Glynn said that with "vast parts of society open" people are now mixing and interacting on a scale "far greater than at any point in the pandemic to date".

He said this gives viruses such as Covid-19 and the flu a chance to circulate, and people should continue to wash their hands and not meet up with other people if they have any symptoms.

"A key message to people who have been vaccinated is to not disregard all of the other basic measures that we've been talking about for so long now," Dr Glynn said.

"So let's continue to wash our hands regularly, let’s ensure that we don’t meet up with other people and socialise if we've got symptoms, and let's work from home where possible over this autumn and winter."

Dr Glynn said they are seeing increasing incidences of Covid-19 across most age groups, with the median age of cases increasing from the mid 20s to 36 years of age.

He said they are seeing an average of five admissions to ICU a day.

Dr Glynn said the reality is that 370,000 adults have not come forward for vaccination or have only come forward for the first in a two-dose schedule, and these people are now vulnerable to Covid-19.

The Chief Executive of ISME has said Dr Glynn's comments are a "very unhelpful intervention".

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Neil McDonnell said many employers are talking about a phased and blended return to the workplace.

He said he is not aware of any employer that is planning a "100% return to five day working in the office – that's not happening".

He said many businesses are "relying on people returning at some level to the office" from Tuesday week after the bank holiday, and that Dr Glynn's comments have added an element of doubt.


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In Northern Ireland, four further deaths of patients who had previously tested positive for Covid-19 have been reported.

The Department of Health also confirmed another 1,349 cases of the virus.

This morning there were 348 Covid-positive patients in hospital, of whom 37 were in intensive care.

The HSE has said just 128 hospital beds were available across the state as of 11 o'clock this morning.

It said more than 21,000 swabs have been taken in the community over the past two days, and that the community positivity rate stands at 11.4% over the past seven days.

The CEO of the Health Service Executive said he does not think the recent rise in Covid-19 cases means hitting a "panic button", but it is a significant early warning that people need to continue to follow all the public health guidelines.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, Paul Reid said there has been a "huge swing" in positivity levels, but vaccines are working in terms of preventing severe illness and death.

He said 67% of those with Covid-19 in ICUs are unvaccinated, which is "hugely disproportionate" when just 8% of the adult population is not fully vaccinated.

Mr Reid said social gatherings are contributing to a rise in infections, with people gathering for events such as communions and confirmations, as well as other settings with larger numbers.

"I see more meetings happen, more people indoors, and we can go back to work, but we need to go back with the basics right," he said.

He added that it is about reiterating the basics, washing hands, social distancing and following public health guidance.

Mr Reid said the HSE is "anxious" to commence the next stage of the booster campaign when it is instructed to do so.

"We have the workforce, the infrastructure, we will roll out when directed by Government."

He said the booster campaign among the over 80s is well advanced and that the one being rolled out among the over 65s in residential settings should be completed in two-and-a-half weeks.

Earlier, Minister for Higher and Further Education Simon Harris said the Government must decide whether to proceed, pause or proceed with some safeguards as it considers the next stage of easing Covid-19 restrictions.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Minister Harris said that despite the rise in Covid-19 cases, some perspective is needed as more than 90% of people are vaccinated.

He said it is not a binary choice whether to continue to reopen or not, but to "ask the question is there a way to proceed with openings [while] retaining vaccine certs or face masks for a bit longer".

The former minister for health said that a level of scrutiny of the options is required and the Government will consult with public health authorities ahead of any decision.

He also urged the 70,000 people who have had a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to come forward for a second dose.

Mr Harris said that a more widespread booster [or third] vaccine programme could be beneficial as was seen in Israel and that advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) on this is expected next week.

He said NIAC is assessing the information on a booster programme for more of the population.

NIAC chair Professor Karina Butler said for the bulk of the population, now might not be the right time to give boosters.

Speaking on the same programme, she said it may be beneficial to wait longer and to help instead with the equity of distributing vaccines on a global basis.

She said NIAC had been considering a booster campaign as far back as spring and summer and looking at how this virus behaves, but said there is no specific date that NIAC will be giving advice to the Government on a booster programme.

Prof Butler said it will happen when its "it's ready to go" with advice that is robust and complete and added that considering boosters involves considering the benefits and harms.

She said NIAC is also reviewing the evidence on the impact of infection on those aged under 12 and keeping that under constant review with regard to the vaccine roll-out.

"The first goal was to get everyone vaccinated and that is still the prime focus if we want to reduce circulation and protect those for whatever reason the vaccine hasn't fully protected them.

"As always we are following the evidence. We know that immunity is quite long-lasting."

She said there is a number of "readily identifiable factors" contributing to the spread of virus and noted the "elephant in the room" is that a large number of people remain unvaccinated, and that among the patients who end up ICU with Covid-19, 80% are not fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, an Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine physician at St James's Hospital in Dublin, has said there is a need to consider booster vaccines but also called for the focus to be placed on global vaccinations to curb the spread of the virus.

Dr Clíona Ní Cheallaigh said there are huge swathes of the world where people are unvaccinated and this leads to breeding grounds for the Delta variant and possibly worse.

She said St James's is not seeing fully vaccinated people with a healthy immune system getting very sick with Covid and needing to come into hospital.

"The vaccinations are definitely doing their job there. What they don't seem to be able to do is stop the levels of transmission happening in the community."

Dr Ní Cheallaigh also appealed for pregnant women to get the vaccine as she warned that they can become severely unwell if they are infected with Covid-19.

"These particular variants seem to affect pregnant women and it is such a terrible situation for the woman, for their partner and baby."

She said unvaccinated pregnant women have been in intensive care throughout this year and the evidence shows that there is no risk to the woman or baby from getting the Covid vaccine.

Dr Ní Cheallaigh said transmission of the virus is now easier with children in school and people returning to the workplace and third-level colleges.