There could be 1,700 people in hospital with Covid in early January, according to NPHET.
That's if the Omicron variant becomes dominant, and social contact increases to last December's levels.
487 people are being treated in Irish hospitals for Covid-19 today -- down 41 on yesterday.
Doctors have discharged 64 patients who've recovered from the infection in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the five-day moving average of Covid cases is 4,691.
Dr Martin Daly, a former president of the Irish Medical Organisation, says the situation's very worrying.