From Iceland — Domestic Infection Rate Declining, As Attention Turns To Border Screening

Domestic Infection Rate Declining, As Attention Turns To Border Screening

Published January 5, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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In the wake of today’s encouraging news that there were only four new domestic cases of the coronavirus detected in the past 24 hours, all of whom were in quarantine at the time of diagnosis, the situation at the border is getting a closer look.

RÚV reports that within the past 2 weeks, almost as many people have tested positive for the virus at the border as within the country. As per regulations, those testing positive at the border must go into immediate isolation until such time as the infected tests negative, or 14 days.

At a coronavirus response team meeting held earlier today, chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason added some thoughts of his own on the matter.

Þórólfur told reporters that he expects there to be an increase of people found at the border to have coronavirus, for a variety of reasons. Amongst them is that the pandemic is worse in other countries, and the rate of infection at the border over the past two weeks can indeed be attributed, at least in part, to people returning to Iceland after visiting people in other countries over the holidays.

“They’re still diagnosing people at the border, and it is perhaps worrying that someone will slip through the cracks, but we have stopped almost all infections at the border,” he said. “They have not spread to others, and we certainly hope that continues to be the case.”

As the UK goes into almost total lockdown today, due to a particularly infectious strain of the virus that was first discovered there, special attention is still being paid to the work at the border. Meanwhile, Iceland continues its vaccination campaign. What the border policy will look like when enough Icelanders have been vaccinated is yet to be determined.

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