Health officials have announced a further 1,978 COVID cases this evening.
This morning, there were 221 coronavirus patients in hospital – a 17% increase on this day last week.
There were and 43 in intensive care – 13 more than last week.
The five-day moving average has increased to 1746.
“We have reported over 10,000 cases in the last week and, while we have very high incidence across Donegal, Monaghan, Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Louth and Cavan in particular, incidence is rising across all 26 counties,” he said.
“In addition, while incidence is particularly high in those aged 16-29 years, incidence is now rising across all age groups.
“While vaccination has very positively impacted on the proportion of positive cases who end up in hospital or critical care, the current high and increasing incidence will nevertheless result in a significant number of people getting very sick with COVID-19.
“At the peak of the second wave in October we had 47 people in critical care. Today we have 43, with eight new admissions in the last 24 hours.
"Vaccines work, but they must also be supported by all of us continuing to follow the public health advice to keep each other safe and break the chains of transmission of COVID-19. If you plan to socialise this weekend, risk assess your plans. Try to meet up in small groups, meet outdoors and avoid crowds if possible. Wear a mask where appropriate, wash your hands, manage your contacts and maintain your social distance. If you are in an environment that feels unsafe then leave.
“Remember that if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms at all, self-isolate - do not meet up with others or go to work - and arrange a test.”