566 were locally transmitted with Seoul and the surrounding area accounting for nearly 400.
These include cases stemming from cluster infections at five card-playing pubs in Itaewon and a restaurant in Jongno-gu District.
Outside the capital region, the southeastern city of Ulsan has the largest local share of new patients at 61 with cases continuing to emerge from a recent outbreak at a nursing hospital.
And according to the Ministry of Education, 34 more students have been confirmed with the virus, which brings the total number of students infected nationwide since mid-May to more than one-thousand six-hundred.
With level two.five social distancing for the capital area and level two for other regions now in effect, many businesses have been forced to close.
The recent uptick comes amid a shortage of hospital beds.
Only a third of those who tested positive for the virus in Seoul on Monday were able to be hospitalized right away.
“We’re working hard to prepare for a possible overload of the medical system and believe that strengthened social distancing measures will soon show their effect.”
But health authorities say it may take some time before numbers drop significantly.
A particular cause for concern is the number of infections with unidentified transmission routes.
26 percent of the new cases are untraceable according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters.
And out of all those who were tested in December, over four-percent were found to have contracted the virus.
South Korea’s total caseload now stands at just under 39-thousand.
The number of critically ill patients has increased by eight to 134 and there have been three more fatalities, bringing the death toll to 552.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.