Covid-19: Evening Update
Here’s A Reminder Of Today’s Covid Headlines
1,110 new cases of covid-19 are being reported today.
89 people with the virus are now in hospital, with 21 of those in ICU.
Positivity rates of up to 25 per cent are now being reported at some swabbing sites.
Many callers to the Digitial Covid Cert helpline are waiting well over 90 minutes to speak to an agent, the Department of Health has confirmed.
The centre has just 55 agents answering calls, but its anticpated this will increase to 90 agents by the end of the week.
The helpline collapsed under pressure yesterday and managed to handle just 1,160 calls.
Callers will now be advised by an automated system if the wait time is expected to be over 90 minutes.
Time limits on tables for indoor dining have been scrapped after a meeting this evening.
The meeting between the hospitality sector representatives and Government also agreed an increased focus on ventilation including the use of CO2 monitors.
Pubs and restaurants will have to close at 11.30pm and work is underway on an app to scan Digital Covid Certs for access.
HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid is warning the more widespread the coronavirus is in the community, the more it can breakthrough to those who are vaccinated.
Meanwhile, close contacts of someone with Covid 19 are expected to be given antigen tests to do themselves, instead of PCR ones, from next week.
They will be asked to collect the tests at their local testing centre and take four in total over ten days.
NPHET has been critical of antigen testing but Niamh O’Beirne from the HSE says the ones they’re using will be very reliable.