The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 28 additional deaths related to COVID-19.
26 of these deaths occurred in January 2021. The date of death for 2 of these reported death remains under investigation.
There has been a total of 2,488 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.
As of midnight, Wednesday 13th January, the HPSC has been notified of 3,955 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 163,057* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.
Of the cases confirmed last night - there are 124 in Wexford, 113 in Waterford, 94 in Tipperary, 47 in Carlow and 43 in Kilkenny.
As of 2pm today, 1,789 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 169 are in ICU. 154 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “Today we are giving some more information on the 208 people who have been reported to have sadly died from COVID-19 so far this month. Of these, 23 cases have been linked to outbreaks in hospitals and 38 with outbreaks in Nursing Homes. The ages of those who have died range from 25 to 98 years. Every death associated with COVID-19 is a tragedy. We must cut our social contacts in order to break the chains of transmission and protect those who are most vulnerable to this disease. Stay at home and save lives.”
Meanwhile, there needs to be a significant drop in the number of patients being treated for Covid in ICU, before level 5 restrictions are eased.
That's the view of the Tanaiste who says they should fall to fewer than 50.
However, he says social distancing and restrictions on gatherings will remain in place for many months, into the summer and autumn.
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar says any reopening of the country will not be a quick as the December reopening.
"Well I think it's three things. I think the number of cases in the community has to be very low.
"We need the ICU's relieved. We could have low cases and still have 100 people in ICU. You can spend a lot of time in ICU with COVID, so we would want to the ICU numbers falling towards 50 or even below 50.
"And the third thing is to have a critical mass of people be vaccinated."