The head of the HSE has warned that "it's going to be a winter like we have never experienced before."
Urging people to change their behaviour, HSE chief executive Paul Reid has said 75% of Covid outbreaks were in homes last week "The reality is 26% of our positive cases last week were in the 15-24 age group - that transmits into homes and there it transmits rapidly," he said.
Mr Reid said that we now need to "call out" behaviours such as gatherings of students in Galway this week but also family celebrations.
He warned that cases in Dublin are three to four times higher than the rest of the country in recent days but added: "I still think we can turn this around,"
"At this point in time, people are tired, frustrated, angry, winter's coming in, it's getting darker and colder. And people are really hoping for a kind of magic turnaround or a very big new solution to how we approach this.
"We do need to give people hope there will be an end to this awful phase that we're all going through."
Until then he said people need to live their lives in a different way.
"If there is a positive to take from Covid; it has enhanced how we're delivering health care systems in Ireland"
But he told Newstalk Breakfast that this winter would be a challenge for the health service as it will have to deal with covid and the treatment of non-covid patients.