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Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team 19 December 2021

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 5,124 confirmed cases of COVID-19.


As of 8am today, 436 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 107 are in ICU.


Possible Omicron cases can be identified by the number of PCR results with ‘S gene target failure.’ Using this methodology, we estimate that approximately 52% of reported cases are now due to the Omicron variant.


Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said; “It has taken less than two weeks for Omicron to become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Ireland, revealing just how transmissible this variant is.  “We have slowed transmission of this disease in the past using our basic measures and responding immediately if symptomatic – it is extremely important we do everything we can to flatten the curve of this wave now to prevent unnecessary deaths, risk to the vulnerable and to protect our health service.  “I urge anyone eligible for a booster to available of it at the earliest opportunity.  

“If the majority of us can now reduce our social contact, meet others outdoors, work from home unless absolutely necessary, ensure the appropriate use of face masks, avoid crowds and keep indoors well ventilated. Very importantly if you have any COVID-19 symptoms self-isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test, if you are a close contact of a confirmed case please restrict your movements.”



Notes to the Editor:


Statistics on booster vaccinations are now available on the COVID-19 data hub.

#LayerUp to protect against COVID-19 infection. A range of posters and signs are available for you to use.

 Day to day variation in the reported number of cases of COVID-19 does not impact on key trend analysis. Analysing over a longer time period such as a week or 14 days, smooths out any variations introduced by processing times, and provides a more stable picture of the trend. 

The number of notifications on CIDR will differ from other HSE data sources, such as positive SARS-CoV-2 results uploaded to the COVID Care Tracker, for several reasons including:

  • Deduplication of repeat positive tests in the same person 
  • Differing upload schedules by the laboratories to CCT and CIDR – uploading of positive records on CIDR by laboratories is a more manual process than uploading to CCT. Uploading to CIDR typically occurs on the day or within one day of authorisation of the laboratory test result 
  • The time required for the two-step method of processing notifications on CIDR - this typically occurs either on the day or within one day of laboratories uploading positive records on CIDR 

 *Daily case numbers may change due to future data validation.