The Department of Health has confirmed a further 2,549 cases of Covid-19.
Currently, there are 481 patients hospitalised with the virus, of which 97 are in ICU.
This evening, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan, said the highest incidence is amongst 5-12-year-olds.
“While the Covid-19 vaccines give high protection against severe illness, hospitalisation and death, the way to break transmission is by following all aspects of the public health advice.
“This weekend, you can enjoy your favourite Halloween activities safely by taking some simple precautions:
“If you are having visitors over, provide hand sanitizer, open windows and try to ensure people can spread out and keep their distance from one another – avoid crowded parties.
“For trick-or-treaters, give out treats outdoors if possible. Wash or sanitize hands frequently, and before eating or handling treats.
“Neither children nor adults should go trick-or-treating or meet up with others if they have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if symptoms are minor – instead, please isolate and get a test,” he said.
Covid testing school children under review
The Tánaiste has said a review is underway to establish if there is a need to resume testing asymptomatic close contacts of primary school children.
Leo Varadkar revealed the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is evaluating whether the country needs to reintroduce contact tracing following a surge of cases in the five to 12 age group.
Mr Varadkar said should there be a change to the current policy, it is more likely to be a move to testing rather than restoring the previous contact tracing system which lapsed several weeks ago.
He stressed that schools will reopen on Monday after the midterm break.
“The current spike in cases among children aged 5-12 was not surprising given that they are not vaccinated,” he said.
However, he said this could change and vaccines could be offered to children in that age group in the months ahead.
The Tánaiste said the difficulty with Covid-19 is that it is an evolving situation and decisions are made on what is best, but science can change.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for schools across Europe to remain open with appropriate measures in place as the continent reports four consecutive weeks of growing Covid-19 transmission rates.
The WHO has issued a clear message and has stated that schools should be “the last places to shut their doors, and the first to re-open”.
Regional Director for WHO/Europe said last year’s closures did “more harm than good” as the organisation recommends a whole-of-society approach to combat rising cases.
Europe is the only WHO Region to report such growing transmission rates of the virus and accounts for 57% of new cases around the world in the third week of October.
As a result of increasing cases, some countries closed schools partially on either a national or sub-national level while two recommended “distance learning”.
Instead of closing educational institutions, WHO recommends a whole-of-society approach to reducing transmission through a wide range of measures, depending on the level of transmission, and preventive measures where transmission occurs.