In light of falling COVID cases and a successful vaccination campaign, the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management has announced that it will not be providing statistical updates on covid.is with the same frequency as before. Likewise, periodic press conferences will be discontinued.
End of an era, the “troika” bids farewell
Since March of last year, the so-called “troika” (þríeykið in Icelandic) – consisting of Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason, Surgeon General Alma Möller, and former Chief Superintendent Víðir Reynisson – has held regular press conferences concerning the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iceland. The press conferences quickly became ingrained in the national consciousness during the early days of the pandemic, with many waiting with bated breath, especially during the crests of the various waves, for the newest statistical information.
Given the decline of COVID cases and successful vaccination efforts, the authorities have decided to discontinue periodic press conferences and will henceforth be providing fewer statistical updates; for the past two weeks, infections among non-quarantining individuals have been rare and there have been several days without any new infections. “46.9% of Icelandic residents (16 years and older) have been vaccinated and more will be inoculated this week. Today, we transitioned to a “grey” on our colour code,” a communique from the Department reads.
Twice a week in June, once a week in July
The web page covid.is – which has been updated daily at 11 am – will only be updated twice a week from now on, with no tentative statistics being relayed to the media. “As it stands, we don’t think it’s necessary,” Hjördís Guðmundsdóttir, communications manager with the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, stated in an interview with RÚV. “We will be sending press releases if any non-quarantining individuals become infected with COVID, for such information is relevant to the citizenry.”
So long as the state of the pandemic remains unchanged, the statistics section of covid.is will only be updated twice a week in June (on Mondays and Wednesdays) and once a week in July (on Mondays). Hjördís stresses that despite information not being delivered as rapidly as before, it does not mean that the COVID pandemic is over. “We will continue to stay on our toes and keep a close watch on infections.”
Statistics concerning vaccines will be updated with the same frequency as before.