Laois had 24 new cases of Covid-19 notified today.
The 14-day incidence rate in the county now stands at 898.5, with 761 cases in the county over the same period.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 8 additional deaths related to COVID-19.
All 8 of these deaths occurred in January.
The median age of those who died is 85 years and the age range is 49-93 years. There are no newly reported deaths in healthcare workers. There are no newly reported deaths in a young person under the age of 30.
There has been a total of 2,616 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.
As of midnight, Sunday 17th January, the HPSC has been notified of 2,121 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 174,843 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.
Of the cases notified today:
992 are men / 1,117 are women
58% are under 45 years of age
The median age is 39 years old
753 in Dublin, 236 in Cork, 142 in Wexford, 126 in Kildare, 109 in Limerick and the remaining 755 cases are spread across all other counties.
As of 2pm today, 1,975 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 200 are in ICU. 102 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said, "This third wave of the pandemic has seen higher level of hospitalisations across all age groups. There are now more sick people in hospital than any time in the course of this pandemic.
"The risk that this disease poses to the individual who is infected has not changed. What has changed is that we are experiencing a much greater level of community transmission and as a result we are seeing higher numbers of people with severe illness who require hospitalisation or admission to intensive care and higher numbers of mortality. Please continue to stay at home and drive down this infection in our community."
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said, "Our survey data indicates that 60% report contacting older relatives and friends to ensure they are okay. Providing support and reassurance to older and more vulnerable members of society is an important part of our collective response to this pandemic. Our sense of community and support for each other must remain a key part of our armoury against COVID-19."
Dr. Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive, Health Products Regulatory Authority, said, "Up to the 11th of January, the HPRA received a total of 81 reports of suspected side effects associated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. All reports were generally consistent with those typically observed with other vaccines and included events of a mild to moderate nature which resolved or were resolving at the time of reporting.
"Among those most frequently reported were abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, joint pain and pains in the arms, some experience of dizziness, headache, itching and a rash – all consistent with the known and anticipated side effects as emerged during the clinical trials.
"While the relatively mild effects described are of course uncomfortable for those who experience them, they do pass quickly and generally do not require any medical treatment.
"Safety monitoring of all medicines, including vaccines, is central to the remit of the HPRA and we intend to publish a regular update of the number and nature of reports regarding suspected side effects with COVID-19 vaccines, as the vaccination roll-out continues."
Dr. Vida Hamilton, National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead, Acute Hospitals, HSE, said, "We are now one week operating in critical surge capacity, the first time we have had to rely on this during the pandemic. Our staff escalation plan is in operation and we are very grateful for the non-critical care staff who are supporting the delivery of these critical services. Patients across the health service are very sick. The message from your healthcare workers is to please stay at home and continue to interrupt the spread of COVID-19."