The Department of Health has reported 3,428 new confirmed cases of Covid-19.

As of this morning, 478 patients are being treated in hospital - up 34 since yesterday.

75 are in ICU - an increase of 1 in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the health minister says he's now thinking about reversing course to require contact tracing among classmates of schoolchildren who've contracted Covid-19.

The HSE suspended investigations in primary schools in September, shortly before the phased reopening of workplaces began.

As under-12s were not eligible to be vaccinated, if they were considered close contacts they were required to self-isolate -- prompting complaints from some parents.

Minister Stephen Donnelly denies his decision to scrap tracing at schools has allowed the virus to spread

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