From Iceland — Credit Card Transactions Used To Trace COVID-19

Credit Card Transactions Used To Trace COVID-19

Published October 5, 2020

Photo by
Art Bicnick

As reported by Vísir this morning, credit card transactions have been used, on more than one occasion, to find people who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

One example of this method being used is at The Irishman Pub, which was recently linked to a huge surge in COVID-19 cases. The chief of police, Víðir Reynisson, told Vísir, “We have received the help of these operators to reach out and provide information to the guests who have been there. They have helped us reach customers so that we can text and send people information and encourage them to go for sampling.” He added, “This is a path we have only taken in very exceptional cases. It is only when the situation is such that there were many infections and it was necessary to reach everyone as soon as possible.”

The method of using credit card information has been used three times, in consultation with credit card companies and venue operators. The infection control team has received the names and phone numbers of customers, but data has not been stored.

Víðir says that it is concerning how reluctant people are to provide information when infections are being traced and that this difficulty in obtaining crucial information is probably one of the main reasons why so few people who are diagnosed are in quarantine. Less than a quarter of those diagnosed with COVID-19 yesterday were already in quarantine.

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