More than 5,000 healthcare workers have been infected with Covid-19 since Christmas, according to new figures.
Healthcare workers accounted for one in eight of all positive cases since December 27th, a total of 5,019 cases.
Twenty-five of these workers required hospitalisation and one had to be admitted. There were no deaths, according to the figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.
The HPSC says 636 staff acquired the virus in a healthcare setting over the two-week period, while 145 patients also picked it up during treatment in a healthcare setting.
One in five cases are attributed to close contact with a known case and 13 per cent to community transmission, meaning the cause of infection remained unknown.
Four out of every five cases among health staff are women, much higher than in the general population to the preponderance of female workers in nursing and other health disciplines.
Nurses were the single most affected discipline, with 1,137 cases, of almost one-quarter of the total. There were 944 cases among healthcare assistants, 377 among administrative workers and 223 among doctors.
One-quarter of cases occurred in a hospital and almost 15 per cent in nursing homes.