Current efforts to reduce virus cases are also well off-track, the State’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn has indicated, and may not be turned around by the end of Level 5 restrictions on December 1st.
Monday saw five more deaths related to Covid-19 recorded in the Republic and an additional 456 cases.
It brings the total number of deaths linked to the virus in the State to 1,984 with 68,356 cases, according to figures from the Department of Health.
There are currently 276 patients in hospital with the virus, with 34 of those being treated in intensive care units.
The positivity rate among people tested for Covid-19 is now at 3.8 per cent. The World Health Organisation recommends the rate should remain below 5 per cent for at least two weeks before public health measures are relaxed.
More than 75,000 tests have been carried out in the State over the past seven days.
The 14-day incidence rate of the disease is 120.4 cases per 100,000 people. Donegal has the highest county incidence at 269.5 and Wicklow has the lowest at 63.2.
In Europe, only Finland and Iceland have lower incidence rates than Ireland, according to the European Centre for Disease Control.
The Causeway Coast and Glens council district is the worst hit area in the North, with an incidence rate of 558.7 cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days.
The next highest rate is in the Mid Ulster area, with 494.9 cases per 100,000.
On Monday another 331 people tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland and 14 more deaths were reported, according to the region’s Department of Health.
With daily case numbers trending slightly upwards in the State in recent days, Dr Ronan Glynn warned: “We need to get to a much better place than this by the first of December.”
Referring to the target of under a 100 cases a day by that date, he said: “We’re nowhere near that at the moment”.
Calling on people to avoid non-essential travel over Christmas, Dr Glynn said: “We don’t want asymptomatic people, who are feeling completely well, coming home to this country to meet loved ones, to interact with their extended families across generations; younger people, older people and people with medical conditions.
“We don’t want thousands of people doing that, resulting in hundreds of thousands of cases in January and deaths and morbidity and mortality following on in January and February.”