There have been 50 additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 3,498 more confirmed cases in Ireland.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) says all of these deaths happened this month, with the median age of those who died being 82.
The age range was between 45 to 96 years.
However there was no newly reported death in healthcare workers or in a young person aged under 30.
There has been a total of 2,536 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland and 166,548 cases of the virus.
This includes the denotification of seven confirmed cases.
Of the cases notified on Friday:
- 1,576 are men / 1,906 are women
- 54% are under 45 years of age
- The median age is 42 years old
There are 1,182 cases in Dublin, 421 in Cork, 258 in Limerick, 187 in Galway and 164 in Waterford.
The remaining 1,286 cases are spread across all other counties.
As of 2.00pm, 1,850 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised - of which 184 are in ICU.
There have been 118 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
New COVID variant
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, said: "New variants of COVID-19 have recently been identified in Brazil, and in travellers to Japan from Brazil. There is no evidence of these variants in Ireland."
But he said: "Anyone who has travelled from Brazil in the last 14 days is advised to self-isolate for 14 days, from the date of arrival, and identify themselves, through a GP, for testing as soon as possible."
"It is essential that anyone arriving from Brazil self-isolate for 14 days from the date of arrival before entering/re-entering the workplace.
"We are particularly appealing to employers to enable their employees to protect each other by staying at home for the full 14 days."
Dr Holohan added: "Further risk assessment of the new variants is expected from the ECDC in the coming week.
"We must all continue to adhere to every element of the public health advice. This remains our best defence against COVID-19."
Close contacts drop
While Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said: "We have worked exceptionally hard in recent weeks to reduce our close contacts.
"At the end of December, the number of close contacts per confirmed case peaked at approximately six.
"That has now dropped to 2.3 contacts. This enormous effort is the reason we are seeing case numbers beginning to fall."
"We know that it is extremely difficult to keep our close contacts to a minimum, particularly over an extended period of time.
"But this is the main way we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19.
"Again today, we are reporting the highest number of people with COVID-19 to date in our hospitals. We must stay home to protect ourselves and each other."
While 77,303 people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.