Random Testing Due to Spike in COVID-19 Cases Skip to content
COVID-19 Press conference Þórólfur Guðnason Alma Möller V'iðir Reynisson
Photo: Golli.

Random Testing Due to Spike in COVID-19 Cases

Thirteen domestic cases of COVID-19 were confirmed yesterday and twelve of those were people who were not in quarantine. That could mean that the virus has spread farther than initially believed, Chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason told mbl.is and is cause for random testing within the University as well as the greater Reykjavík area to determine the spread of the virus. The cases are not all related, meaning that it’s not a group infection. Þórólfur urges people to stay on their guard and stay at home if they feel any symptoms.

Four or five of the cases are related to the University of Iceland so DeCode will conduct random testing within the university community. All 13 of the cases were in the greater Reykjavík area and local healthcare clinics will conduct random testing in the city to estimate the spread of the virus. This is the highest number of cases confirmed in one day since August 6.

“These are mostly cases that can’t be traced back to each other and at a glance, we don’t know how they were transmitted,” Þórólfur told mbl.is. He worries that so many of the new cases weren’t in quarantine. “It’s a sign that the virus could have spread further than we anticipated.” The reason for the random testing is that the Directorate of Health and the Department of Civil Protection want to be able to react quickly to the situation. “We want to avoid further spread and an exponential rise in confirmed cases.”

The cases that were confirmed yesterday all belonged to the same strain of the virus. Þórólfur says he doesn’t foresee stricter measures due to the increase in confirmed cases and urges people to keep washing their hands and keeping a social distance. “We tell people a few things. First of all, that people who are sick, with symptoms that could suggest COVID-19, stay at home and don’t come in to work but notify health authorities and get tested. People have been showing up sick to work. Second of all, people need to be reminded to keep up with the guidelines to avoid infection, and workplaces need to disinfect communal instruments, coffeemakers, doorknobs and other frequently touched surfaces. We can’t forget the basics because otherwise, we might see a rise in cases domestically.”

Read more on COVID-19 in Iceland.

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