A further 46 people diagnosed with Covid-19 in the Republic have died, the highest number of fatalities reported in one day since April.
As of 2pm yesterday, 1,582 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 146 are in ICU.
Commenting on the latest figures, the department's chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said that they unfortunately reflect "the effect of the recent surge of infections".
There has been a total of 2,397 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland. 128 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
3,086 new cases of the virus have also been confirmed with 574 of those cases in Dublin.
The joint statement from the trusts said: "The situation is very serious with modelling projections indicating that in the third week in January we will be trying to contend with double the number of Covid positive patients compared to the current position today, when several hospitals already have record numbers of patients. That means we are unfortunately set for a period of time where the situation in our hospitals gets worse before it gets better", he added. This is nearing the springtime peak of 155 people in critical care. ICUs are not where we want anyone to be. "This virus can not spread when households do not mix together, when social gatherings do not occur and when people stay at home for all but essential reasons", he said.
"What we can do today, out of respect of those who have lost their lives and those now in hospital or ICU - and those caring for them - is to hold firm and stay home".
"The best way forward now is for all of us to stay at home".
Close to 5,000 cases reported on Monday pushed the total number confirmed in the Republic over the 150,000 mark - just eight days after the 100,000 case mark was exceeded.
The new United Kingdom variant of the disease, and ten of thousands of Irish people returning home from overseas for Christmas, are also highly likely to have contributed to the explosion in cases.
With more than 45,000 new cases over the last week, it shows that the disease is spreading here at a faster rate than other European nations or the United States.
"We now have nearly the highest rate of Covid-19 on the planet, which is very worrying, and our rate has gone up much faster than other European countries".