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Latest figures 2,855 new Covid-19 cases confirmed as healthcare workers await booster decision

The Department of Health also announced that as of 8am today, 515 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 91 are in intensive care.

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A further 2,855 Covid-19 infections were confirmed by the Department of Health today.

Yesterday, 1,963 cases were identified while Saturday, October 30, saw the highest daily figures in the State since January with 2,966 cases.

The Department of Health also announced that as of 8am today, 515 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 91 are in intensive care.

This is up 15 hospitalisations from yesterday, with two less coronavirus patients in ICU.

Yesterday, Dr Tony Holohan sought to reassure parents who may have been anxious about sending their children back to school with such high case figures among children.

It comes as healthcare unions are waiting to learn whether the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) will recommend that healthcare workers are to be included in the booster programme.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) is calling for healthcare workers to receive a booster, amid rising case numbers and growing pressures on Irish hospitals.

Around 3,500 healthcare workers are believed to be off work due to a Covid-related illness.

General secretary of the INMO, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said on Monday that it appeared that healthcare workers were picking up the virus in hospitals.

"We need to ensure that the vaccine booster is provided so that we have the maximum protection," she said on RTÉ radio.

The Government has said that it will listen to any recommendation from NIAC on the extension of the booster programme.

On Monday, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said thousands of people are continuing to come forward for a coronavirus jab.

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Mr Reid said on Twitter that, over the past six days, almost 15,000 people have come forward for vaccination.

"It is never too late," he said.

Vaccination centres were closed on Monday, as the HSE carried out updates to its Covid-19 information system.

In a statement on Monday, the HSE said the "essential" update to the Covax system will "provide increased capability to support our vaccination booster programme".

People were not able to register for a vaccination online or by phone on Monday, but GP and pharmacy vaccinations are unaffected by the update.

On Monday, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said the Government has made a major investment in the health service to protect hospitals.

"We've already put in place a significant amount of investment to help our health service cope at a time of challenge," he told RTÉ.

"We do acknowledge that challenge is growing, and that is why we're making, I believe, sensible decisions and the right decisions in how we can manage Covid and how we can allow our economy to also safely stay open."

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