COVID-19 in Iceland: Two Domestic Cases With British Variant Skip to content

COVID-19 in Iceland: Two Domestic Cases With British Variant

By Yelena

Iceland National Hospital COVID-19
Photo: Landspítali/Facebook.

Authorities are conducting tests on National University Hospital staff and some 700 concertgoers after the emergence of two domestic cases of COVID-19. The two cases are the first diagnosed outside of quarantine in Iceland for over a month. Both cases are connected to an individual who arrived from abroad recently and tested positive in their second test following the mandatory five-day quarantine. The British variant, which thus far has not spread widely in Iceland, is responsible for at least two of the three cases. Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason says the next two days will bring to light whether a fourth wave of community infection has begun in the country.

No Other Hospital Staff Tested Positive

One of the two individuals who tested positive domestically works at the National University Hospital. Most of the hospital staff that could have been exposed to their infected colleague have been tested and none have tested positive for the virus. That same individual attended a concert at Harpa last Friday. Ten individuals who sat closest to them have been put in quarantine, but all of the roughly 700 concert guests have been invited to register for testing today. Around 50 people in total are in quarantine due to the cases.

Traveller Did Not Break Quarantine

In a briefing yesterday, Þórólfur explained that the traveller believed to be responsible for the two domestic cases presented a negative PCR test certificate before departure and tested negative in their first border test but then tested positive in their second border test following the mandatory five-day quarantine. Contact tracing suggests that the individual infected two others while in quarantine without breaking quarantine regulations. Those who contracted the virus live in the same building and use the same stairwell as the traveller, but do not appear to have had direct contact with them. “This shows how contagious the virus can be,” Þórólfur stated.

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