Almost half of new coronavirus cases are linked to outbreaks in workplaces, according to new figures.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said 46% of Covid-19 deaths and cases reported in the week ended August 7 were linked to an outbreak in a workplace.
The CSO added that Kildare, Laois and Offaly, the three counties which have been put into localised lockdown, “made up three-quarters of all cases linked to an outbreak” for that week.
Those counties were put back into lockdown last Friday due to Covid-19 outbreaks at meat processing plants in the region.
The CSO said figures show that women still account for more virus cases than men, with 3,489 more female patients than males.
However, of the 1,519 people who have died from Covid-19, the virus was linked with the deaths of 23 more men than women.
It said coronavirus continues to affect older people the most, with 64% of all confirmed Covid-19 deaths to date in the 80-plus age group.
The CSO said it was the seventh week in a row where the median age of new cases had been under 40, while the median age of new confirmed Covid-19 cases for the week ending August 7 was 34.
No new deaths and 92 further cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Ireland on Thursday.
There have now been a total of 26,929 confirmed cases and 1,774 Covid-19 related deaths.
Meanwhile, a mushroom plant in Golden, Co Tipperary, has suspended operations after a number of workers tested positive for Covid-19.
In a statement, Walsh Mushrooms said: “Operations are being suspended after a member of staff was diagnosed with Covid-19 while in self isolation. Subsequent testing of close contacts has resulted in further positive cases.
“As a business we have stringent measures in place to control Covid-19 since March and we have had no incidence of Covid-19 up to this point.
“We are working with the HSE and all relevant authorities assisting in contact tracing and testing of all staff. We will use the opportunity to deep clean the plant during the temporary closure. Essential maintenance will continue at the facility.
“The safety, wellbeing and protection of our employees, their families and the local community is our number one priority.”