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covid latest 19,961 new Covid cases reported and 940 hospitalised with virus

The HSE portal allowing people to register as positive after an antigen test opened yesterday

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HSE chief Paul Reid

HSE chief Paul Reid

HSE chief Paul Reid

19,961 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported.

Of those 14,555 are PCR confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 5,406 registered positive antigen tests through the HSE’s new portal.

As of 8am today, 940 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised with the virus, of 89 of which are in ICU.

People under 40 who test positive for Covid-19 with an antigen test no longer have to get a PCR test.

The HSE portal allowing people to register as positive after an antigen test opened yesterday, and more than 2,500 had logged their results by the afternoon.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer said that as people get familiar with the latest advice on isolation and restriction of movements, the importance of other protective measures should not be disregarded.

He also said that there should be an increased emphasis on the use of “higher grade face masks”.

“This latest guidance places an increased emphasis on the use by cases and close contacts of higher-grade face masks, as opposed to cloth masks.”

“Other protective measures including strict limiting of social contacts are also advised for the full 10 days following a confirmed COVID-19 infection or close contact.”

“These combined measures are intended to offset any increase in risk of transmission that may result from the reduction and or removal of the requirement to self-isolate or restrict movements.”

It is now recommended that medical grade or FFP2 masks are used by anyone 13 years and older who is a confirmed case, a close contact or who has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19

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Over 60s and vulnerable people of all ages in indoor or crowded outdoor places, and anyone visiting a healthcare setting or when visiting those who are vulnerable to COVID-19 in any setting

“Masks can play a key role in reducing transmission of COVID-19 if made correctly, well fitted and worn properly – that is they cover the nose, mouth and chin,” he said.

“By layering up on the basic public health measures, including vaccination, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and continue to protect ourselves and our loved ones from infection.”

“Continue to practise social distancing and good hand hygiene, work from home unless necessary to attend, avoid crowds and ensure indoor spaces and public transport are ventilated.”

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