A Year After COVID-19 First Reached Iceland, Domestic Cases Down To Single Digits

A Year After COVID-19 First Reached Iceland, Domestic Cases Down To Single Digits

Published March 1, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Yesterday marked one year since the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Iceland. There have been many ups and downs since then, but a combination of domestic restrictions, border entry requirements, and now a scheduled rollout of vaccines have reduced the domestic incidence of the virus to a mere trickle.

But first, the latest figures.

One new domestic case of the coronavirus was detected yesterday, according to the latest data from covid.is. This person was not in quarantine at the time of diagnosis, marking the first time a person outside quarantine was detected with the virus since February 1. There were no recorded cases on Saturday, and only one on Friday, with the person detected with it in quarantine at the time.

Seven people are currently hospitalised with the virus, with none in intensive care. Four people are currently in quarantine, with another 13 in isolation, down from last week. The 14-day incidence of infection per 100,000 people is now 0.8, up from 0.3 last week, while incidence at border screening is now at 2.7, down from 3.6 last week.

12,600 people have so far been vaccinated against the coronavirus, with 8,483 vaccinations underway. The schedule of which demographics are getting the vaccine and when can be found here (available only in Icelandic for now).

Since the first confirmed case of the coronvirus on February 28, 2020, there have been a total of 29 recorded deaths linked directly to complications arising from COVID-19, the first later-confirmed case happening in mid-March. There have been a total of 327 hospitalisations, 53 in intensive care, since the start of the pandemic. Viewing data over the past year, there were two significant waves of the virus.

The first wave peaked on April 1 of last year, when the 14-day daily incidence of the coronavirus reached 267.2. This was barely a week and a half after the Schengen Area, including Iceland, closed itself off to visitors under the strictest guidelines.

While many people feared the re-opening of the borders on June 15th would result in a second wave, the data does not show that happening. Rather, than second—and highest—wave peaked on October 17th of last year, when the 14-day daily incidence of the coronavirus reached 291.5. This could be largely attributed to the relaxation of domestic restrictions the month previous, as border policy remained unchanged.

Since then, the presence of the coronavirus in Iceland began its steady decline. A combination of flexible domestic restrictions and border policy, along with data transparency and health authorities being in continuous communication with the public, have all led to the relatively low incidence of the virus in Iceland today.

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