Healthcare workers, who are deemed close contacts of someone with Covid 19, are being asked to return to work if they have no symptoms.

It comes as the number of patients in hospital with the virus hits another record high.

Latest figures show 1,750 patients are being treated in hospital with Covid 19 and 158 are in ICU.

The head of the HSE says this is a level beyond comprehension but Paul Reid says healthcare teams are taking emergency actions to sustain this within a level of control.

7,000 health care workers are currently unavailable as they have covid or are deemed close contacts which is putting a huge strain on the health system.

The HSE says these returning workers will be closely monitored.