A further 429 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Republic, as well as four more deaths.
This brings the total number of cases here to 69,473 while the total number of deaths is now 2,010.
Of the 429 confirmed cases, 173 occurred in Dublin, 44 in Cork, 26 in Donegal, 22 in Louth and 21 in Kildare.
As of 2pm on Thursday, there were 290 people in hospital with confirmed COVID, 33 of whom were in ICU. There had been 15 additional hospitalisations in the previous 24 hours.
The 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 of the population in the 14 days up to midnight on November 18 was 116.5 nationally. However 10 counties were above this national average, with Donegal the worst affected, at 264.5 per 100,000, followed by Limerick (221.7) and Louth (175.4).
The counties with the lowest 14-day incidence rate were Wexford (37.4), Wicklow (56.9) and Galway (70.9).
Commenting on the figures, the Department of Health's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said that the objective of using this six-week period to drive down COVID infection in the community "has stalled in the last week".
"We now have two weeks to get back on track. Drive down the disease by limiting the number of daily contacts you have. Work from home, stay at home and follow public health advice to get us to a reproduction number below 0.5 by December 1," he commented.
According to the department's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, deaths associated with COVID-19 have increased by 18% in the European region over the last two weeks.
"Last week alone, Europe registered over 29,000 new deaths. That is one person dying every 17 seconds. We have made significant progress in Ireland over recent weeks, but the disease and its risks have not changed. Please continue in your efforts to follow public health advice, limit the transmission of COVID-19 in Ireland and protect those who are most vulnerable in our families and across our communities," he said.
Meanwhile, according to Prof Philip Nolan, chair of NPHET's Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, for the first three weeks of level 5, case numbers declined at a rate of 5 -7% per day resulting in a reproduction number as low as 0.6.
"We are aware that case numbers have now stopped declining and as a consequence, the reproduction number has increased to an estimated 0.7- 0.9.
"The data strongly suggests that a small, recent increase in the level of social contacts has led to the increase in the reproduction number we see now. A small additional effort to reduce our contacts will make a big difference to reduce disease incidence before December 1," he noted.
For more information on level 5 restrictions, which apply to the entire country, click here.
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