A new record daily high of 23,817 COVID cases have been announced this evening.
There were 90 in intensive care, which is down four on yesterday but up two on last week.
The five-day moving average is now 19,366.
It comes after new Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) figures have found that there were more COVID outbreaks in Irish schools in the second half of last year than in any other public place.
Ahead of this morning’s return to school, teachers unions warned that schools would face staffing issues as children return – with the Government accepting that some classes and individual schools may have to temporarily close in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, thousands of people signed a petition urging politicians that are trained as teachers to step up and support struggling schools by returning to the classroom.
Nearly one-third of primary school children were absent from class today, according to a survey carried out by the National Principals’ Forum.
Meanwhile, there will be no Circuit Court trials for the first two weeks of the upcoming legal term due to the surge in cases.