Hospitals remain extremely busy, the chief executive of the HSE has warned, as a further 1,903 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed.
As of 8am on Thursday, 219 Covid patients are in hospital, including 37 in intensive care units.
Paul Reid, speaking at a weekly briefing, said “many of our hospitals face significant pressures on Covid and non-Covid services”.
The HSE expects the number of people with Covid-19 in hospital will continue to rise throughout August and into September.
“We’re still in a period of sustained threat from the Delta variant,” Mr Reid said on Thursday.
Liam Woods, national director of acute operations at the HSE, said hospital attendance by people aged over 75 at emergency departments is “up significantly”.
He added: “That puts a lot of pressure on the hospital system in terms of service response.”
Cork, Galway and Mayo are among the areas under the most serious pressure regarding hospital admissions.
The warning comes as the HSE expects 80 per cent of the State’s population to be fully vaccinated by this weekend. Health officials are asking people to follow public health advice and register for a vaccine.
There is still a “strong demand” for testing and tracing across the Republic, as case numbers rise.
Niamh O’Beirne, the HSE national lead for testing and tracing, confirmed demand had increased by 12 per cent over the last week.
She said some community Covid-19 testing sites had seen positivity rates of more than 30 per cent.
People aged between 15 and 24 continue to make up the highest proportion of positive cases.
Ms O’Beirne said: “We continue to ask people to come forward for testing and to engage as soon as they possibly can with our contact tracing teams.”