HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid has issued a stark update on Covid-19 testing and contact tracing in Ireland.
Speaking just a day after 1,296 new cases were confirmed in Ireland, Reid said: "Testing and tracing volumes are now at alarming levels.
"Our highest daily tests now at 23,000. Community positivity reaching 10%. Close contacts averaging at 5 people. Tracing calls gone from less than 10,000 to now over 3O,000 per week."
In an appeal to people, he added: "Please review New Year plans to keep safe."