The HSE has warned of a possible outbreak of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Athlone.
Cases in the area that may be the variant are being investigated and are not yet confirmed by Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS).
In a statement this evening, the Department of Public Health in the Midlands said the cases are associated with socialising by the river on the west side on Friday, June 11.
"It is not clear how transmission occurred. It may be that social distancing advice was not adhered to and there have been reports of house parties that night," the statement said.
Anyone who was socialising in Athlone on the evening of June 11 is urged to attend a Covid-19 test centre.
Tests can be booked here.
The Delta variant of the virus is very transmissible and anyone who is not fully vaccinated could be at risk of infection.
People in Athlone who think they may have been exposed should attend a test centre while anyone who has symptoms is advised to restrict their movements and contact their GP to arrange a test.
"Covid-19 symptoms can be as mild as a runny nose so please be vigilant," the statement said.
Earlier this evening, the Chief Medical Officer expressed concern about the spread of the Delta variant.
Dr Tony Holohan said this evening that a number of outbreaks in the last week are associated with the Delta variant.
He estimates that the variant accounts for up to 20% of cases reported in the past seven days.
The pattern of the spread is similar to what has been seen in other EU countries as well as in the UK.
The Delta variant, which was first identified in India, has been the dominant strain of the Covid-19 virus in the UK for some time now.
The UK is beginning to experience a rise in hospitalisation as a result, something health officials here are keen to avoid.