One more confirmed case of Covid-19 has been reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team.
It involves a male in the East of the country who returned from Italy.
It brings the total number of confirmed cases in the Republic of Ireland to 19.
The confirmed case figures are up to around lunchtime today.
The HSE is trying to identify any contacts the patient may have had and will provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
The NPHET also met earlier to consider guidance from the Expert Advisory Group on managing healthcare workers who are close contacts of a confirmed case in Cork University Hospital.
Chair of the Expert Advisory Group Dr Cillian de Gascun said: “There is a risk to patients of acquiring Covid-19 from an exposed health care worker.
“However, if a health facility cannot be staffed safely to provide critical services, then the following guidance to mitigate risk will assist:
·        “Health care workers who have had close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 and have developed symptoms should be excluded from work
·        “Health care workers who have had close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 and have not developed symptoms, and are deemed to be essential workers, may work, provided they observe strict adherence to infection prevention and control precautions, and undergo twice daily active monitoring by occupational health, for 14 days after contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19.”
Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health Dr Tony Holohan said: “Covid-19, as with other infectious diseases, creates risk to patient care in two ways – the risk of transmission from an infected health care worker and the risk of serious impact on patient care by loss of significant numbers of essential staff.
“The National Public Health Emergency Team has decided to adopt the guidance of the Expert Advisory Group, to be implemented in Cork University Hospital and Limerick Hospital immediately.”
Senior management at the HSE are meeting with staff in the affected hospitals and are offering guidance and support.
Chief Clinical Officer in the HSE Dr Colm Henry said: “Healthcare workers are at the frontline of this virus outbreak. 
“The Department of Health and the HSE are equally dedicated to protecting and supporting this vital group of people, along with ensuring patient care.”
Around 80% of cases of Covid-19 will be a mild to moderate illness, close to 14% have severe disease and around 6% are critical.
Generally, you need to be 15 minutes or more in the vicinity of an infected person, within 1-2 metres, to be considered at-risk or a close contact.