LATEST: 1,571 new cases of virus confirmed as incidence rate spirals
A further 1,571 people have contracted the coronavirus, the Department of Health confirmed this evening.
That’s a decrease of 21 on yesterday’s total.
The number of people with the virus in hospital has been recorded at 318, an increase of four on yesterday’s numbers.
There are 60 patients in intensive care, up five on yesterday.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said: “On average, we have reported 1,814 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day for the last 5 days.
“Our 14-day incidence is now 526 per 100,000 population. This is an extremely high incidence of disease circulating in our communities.
“Mask wearing is a simple and effective way of breaking the chains of transmission. If you do are infected but do not have symptoms or have yet to develop symptoms, you can still spread the virus to others.
“Face masks help reduce this risk. By wearing a mask, you protect those around you. In January 2021, 94% of people reported wearing face masks in public places, and 93% in February and in March. As of this month, that figure has dropped to 84%,” Dr Holohan concluded.