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A further 6,329 cases of Covid-19 have been notified in Ireland.
The latest update came as hospitals remained busy on Monday morning with 1,006 Covid-positive patients, of whom 97 were in intensive care.
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan stressed the importance of changes to advice around the wearing of masks designed to limit the spread of the virus.
As we continue to adjust to the latest changes to the public health advice relating to isolation and restriction of movements for cases and close contacts, it is important to remember that the most important change relates to mask wearing.
— Dr Tony Holohan (@CMOIreland) January 17, 2022
He said it is now recommended that medical grade or FFP2 masks are used by anyone 13 or over who is a confirmed case, close contact or who has symptoms, over 60s and vulnerable people as well as anyone visiting a healthcare setting or anyone vulnerable 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.
“The best way to protect yourself against the most severe impacts of Covid-19 is to get your booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine.”
Dr Holohan said evidence indicates that those who have received the booster vaccination are less susceptible to infection, and if infected, less infectious to others.
“According to our Amarach research, 68% of those aged under 35 years, who have received a full, primary course of Covid-19 vaccination but are not yet boosted, said that they would receive a booster dose if they were offered it next week,” he said.
“It is important to remember that you don’t need to wait for the HSE to contact you about your booster appointment.
“You can book an appointment online on www.hse.ie, drop into your local pharmacy or contact your GP.
“In the last week over 46,000 children aged 5-11 have been vaccinated in Ireland.
“Vaccines are a very safe and effective way to protect children from the risk posed by Covid-19 infection.
“The HSE are operating special child-friendly vaccine clinics.”
He added: “Continue to layer up on the basic public health measures, including vaccination, to protect yourself and your loved ones from infection.
“Wear the appropriate mask recommended for you, practise social distancing and good hand hygiene, work from home unless necessary to attend in person, avoid crowds and ensure indoor spaces and public transport are ventilated by opening windows regularly.”