ELIMINATING COVID-19 in Ireland isn't a realistic prospect and we must all learn to live with it, according to HSE chief executive Paul Reid.
It's understood that Mr Reid will tell the Oireachtas coronavirus committee this afternoon that the health service faces tough times in the coming weeks and months.
"We are facing into a very difficult period ahead in our health services," he said.
"In an ideal world, the elimination of the virus would make our work somewhat more straightforward.
"However, this isn’t our reality. We must live with this virus in a very new way and this requires a carefully balanced approach.
"The health services need a functioning economy and society. Shutting down the economy and society has implications for our health services."
It's thought that Mr Reid will be appearing before the committee along with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn.
During three sessions today, the committee will discuss testing and tracing, the ongoing Co Kildare and the medical and scientific reasoning for it.
Mr Reid's opening statement will compare the number of Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks, 1,269, with the first two weeks of July, 264.
He will also discuss testing in meat and food processing plants along with testing programmes that have been introduced in nursing homes.