Almost 5,000 more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, along with seven more deaths from the virus.
The latest figures from the Department of Health show that 4,962 more cases have been confirmed, brining the total number of cases in the Republic to 101,887.
The total number of deaths here now stands at 2,259.
Of the 4,962 cases, 1,260 occurred in Dublin, 652 in Limerick, 350 in Cork, 321 in Louth and 238 in Meath.
As of 2pm on Sunday, there were 685 people with confirmed COVID-19 in hospital, 62 of who were in ICU. There had been 96 additional hospitalisations in the last 24 hours..
According to the department's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, this is a "critical time".
"We are seeing a really significant surge in infection, which is leading to a very rapid increase in both hospitalisations and admissions to critical care units. This is not only unsustainable for the healthcare system, but also a deeply concerning level of preventable sickness and suffering that we must work together to address as quickly as possible," he said.
Dr Holohan pointed out that the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 "has more than doubled from this day last week".
"So has the number of people in ICU. Remember that behind each hospital statistic and ICU figure is a real person like you, with a family who cares about them, and a team of healthcare workers dedicated to protecting their lives. We must be as dedicated as we all were in the spring in our commitment to following the public health advice," he insisted.
Dr Holohan urged people to "act as though you are infectious".
"Stay at home. Work from home starting from tomorrow, and if you are an employer, ask your employees to work at home. What we all do at a collective level today will have a direct impact on the level of infection and hospitalisations in the weeks to come.
"Your safe actions now will protect our hospitals and those who work so hard in them. Simply put, when you stay at home, you protect the frontline healthcare workers who have worked tirelessly to keep us all safe throughout this pandemic. Hold firm and remember them," Dr Holohan added.
The national 14-day incidence rate in the 14 days up to midnight on January 2 was 469.8, however 10 counties were above this, with Monaghan the worst affected, at 1060.5.
Wickow had the lowest 14-day incidence up to January 2, at 195.2.
Ireland is now is level 5 of the Government's COVID plan. For more information on this, click here.
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