Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said the highly infectious nature of Covid-19 cannot be under-estimated, as well as the impact it can have on families and communities.
The latest data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) shows that 1.4% of all those aged over 85 contracted Covid-19 last week.
This is the highest disease incidence among all age groups and there are concerns about the impact it could have.
There are clear signs that Ireland may have passed the peak of a third wave of Covid-19 infections in recent days. However, pressure on hospitals and health services continues to grow.
210 of the Covid-19 patients were in intensive care.
485 people have already died from the disease so far in January.
HPSC data suggests that just over 5% of them passed away in intensive care, 40% in general hospital wards, while 55% died outside of a hospital setting.
Forty per cent of those who died were over the age of 85. There is now heightened concern for this most vulnerable age group.
HPSC data yesterday showed the disease incidence among the over 85s rose sharply last week.
It is now more than two and a half times the population average.
Level 5 restrictions, aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19, are set to be extended by the Cabinet next week.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said last night that the coronavirus transmission numbers were “still too high”, while Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said that the vast majority of restrictions will be maintained “well into February”.