The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) confirmed 69 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland today.
This follows on from yesterday's 50 new cases reported.
Over the past seven days, 362 new confirmed cases have been reported and five people are now receiving treatment in intensive care units, while 10 people who contracted the virus are in hospital.
The total number of cases of coronavirus in Ireland is now 26,372 since the outbreak began.
Health authorities also confirmed five new deaths today from coronavirus meaning the total death toll stands at 1,768.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn noted that four of the deaths are not recent and took place in May and June.
A breakdown of the latest figures from the HPSC reveals:
- 37 are men / 31 are women
- 65% are under 45 years of age
- 39 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case
- 2 cases have been identified as community transmission
- 22 cases are located in Offaly, 19 in Kildare, 8 in Laois, 6 in Dublin
14 other cases are spread across eight other counties inclduing Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Limerick, Louth, Meath and Wexford.
Speaking about the new figures and the distribution of cases in the country, Ireland's acting chief medic said: "Over the past 14 days, 226 cases have arisen in Kildare, Laois, and Offaly.
"These represent almost half of all cases in Ireland over that time period.
“While the majority of these cases can be accounted for by outbreaks, this volume of cases is significant and our main priority now is to ensure that these outbreaks do not lead to widespread community transmission in the region."
Dr Glynn said the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) would monitor the spread of coronavirus in Kildare, Laois and Offaly closely.
“NPHET continues to monitor the situation closely. I urge people in these counties to remain vigilant to stop the further spread of Covid-19 in these areas,” he said.
Earlier today the Government addressed again the decision not to progress to Phase Four of Ireland's exit from the pandemic lockdown.
Speaking earlier today, Liz Canavan, assistant secretary-general from the Department of Taoiseach said that the decision to delay the advance was justified.
Ms Canavan said: "We knew that there would be, likely, some increase in the numbers,
“We’ve had more cases every day, more cases nationally overall, we’ve increasing numbers of cases in vulnerable groups, we have outbreaks in a number of workplace settings."
Addressing the increased rate of infection, Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said vigilance must be maintained and warned of any further increases.
“We have seen a significant increase in the incidence of Covid-19 over the past week. The reproduction number for the virus is now estimated to be 1.8," Professor Nolan said.
"A reproduction number of almost 2 is a serious concern, and although we have not yet seen a significant increase in community transmission,
"There is a significant risk this could develop over the coming days and weeks emphasising the need for each of us to be extremely cautious that we do not contribute to the transmission of the virus,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, a marked increase in case numbers was recorded but no new deaths.
43 cases were confirmed and to date, more than 20 coronavirus clusters have been identified in the North.
Public health authorities in Northern Ireland now believe the infection 'R' rate is now above 1 with estimates stating the current rate for the R-value is between 0.8 and 1.8.