Worries About Increasing Number of Cases Outside Quarantine

Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason.

Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

Vala Hafstað

Eleven new domestic cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Iceland yesterday, all of them in the capital area. Eight of the people diagnosed were not in quarantine – a fact that worries health authorities.

Four people tested positive at the border, and all of them are awaiting the results of antibody tests. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants stands at 45.3.

At present, 45 people are in the hospital, due to COVID-19, two of them in intensive care.

At a press conference this morning, Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason stated that the third wave of COVID-19 is subsiding, but added that recent infections that have proven difficult to trace are reason for worry, as is the number of people diagnosed recently who have not been in quarantine.

Chief Superintendent Víðir Reynisson.

Chief Superintendent Víðir Reynisson. Kristinn Magnússon


The term R 0 indicates how contagious a disease is, that is, how many people on average will contract a disease from one infected person. Recent data appears to suggest the R 0 in Iceland is rising again.

Þórólfur stated that some of the recent cases have been traced to shopping malls and large parties last weekend. There are, too, examples of people in quarantine having failed to exercise caution.

Quite a few people, he stated, are being diagnosed at the border these days.

Þórólfur’s recommendations, recently sent to the minister of health regarding disease prevention measures as of December 2, could change, he stated, as a result of the latest developments.

He emphasized the importance of solidarity regarding disease prevention methods.

Chief Superintendent Víðir Reynisson, one of the threesome usually present at the press conferences held by health authorities, was not there today. He has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

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